Lebanon’s punk rock scene is an active yet inconsistent one. For every outfit still going strong under the radar, there’s one that calls it quits. Seldom do any of these bands manage to leap from the crusty punk underworld into the shimmering spotlight that is the public eye. However, there is one band that has done just that: The Passive Standouts.

For the last few years, this punk trio has made a name for itself in the city, playing various gigs, including the annual musical bonanza that is Fete de La Musique, taking home the award for Best Live Performance at Time Out’s Nightlife Awards 2012, and even qualifying against other local bands to represent Lebanon in the Global Battle of the Bands last year in London. And now, they've even got themselves an album, and it will be out online this upcoming Friday, September 13 (you know, for good luck).

Overall, the album has a very genuine punk vibe to it, neither too jarring or intolerable, nor too clean-cut and poppy; just good ol’ fashion catchy punk rock. It also manages to execute a fine mix of old school and contemporary sounds, with some tried-and-true traditional punk tricks being put to use alongside modern indie rock techniques.

Musically, the album teeters between aggressive and upbeat. Its sound is characterized by simple melodies (I heard they revoke your punk card if you use more than four chords per song), chanted choruses (to bring out the rebellious youth in you), and added effects to the vocals (those subtle reverb and light distortion do make all the difference, trust me). Also noteworthy is the willingness to leap from one mood to another within the same song (“D n’ A”) as well as the briefest of hints to other genres such as noise (“Mrs. Hyde”) and rockabilly (“The Captor’s Name Is…).

The album does suffer from one significant issue, which is that the lyrics are slightly difficult to decipher, and by that I don’t mean that they’re peppered with obscure Victorian era vernacular; I mean there were moments where I literally could not hear what the vocals were saying. But regardless, what I did manage to hear are stark and gritty lyrics covering various topics. Some were enigmatic: “Do I take out the king, do I steal all his bling?” Some bluntly expressed dissatisfaction with the state of the world: “There’s a lack of love and I wanna hurl.” Some were just things you yell at a whiny girlfriend: “Not today, no not today, save it for another day.”

Though not without its flaws, I would call this a decent to above average (no one’s exactly splitting any atoms here) punk album. Is it the quintessential Lebanese punk album? Who knows… But if I’m ever asked by a complete outsider to recommend an album that defines Lebanese punk, this would be it.

To listen to the album, check The Passive Standouts’ Bandcamp page, and keep up with them on their Facebook page.

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