If Librarians like to be compared to new wave and dance punk, then they must be the most laid-back dance punk new wavers I’ve listened to in quite some time. It’s not that Present Passed isn’t an enjoyable listen – the band may just need to reconsider the genre in which they are marketed to. If anything, psychedelic, indie rock is much more suiting for these West Virginians.
“Candy Season” could be interpreted as a dancier track on Present Passed, as drums repeat over and over with vocals that are fairly reminiscent to a Vampire Weekend. “Wait and See” is a darker, more mysterious mid-tempo fare with further drums repeating throughout.
On a track like “Cranberry Palace,” Librarians embrace their psychedelic side, taking influences from The Zombies as a moody bass guides the track and vocals echo in and out. “So What?” is a more fleshed-out track with not only bass at the forefront but also spacey guitars circling throughout.
Librarians may want to be a dance punk band, but their strength lies in their ability to create some lovingly crafted psychedelic tracks. An album composed of tracks such as “Cranberry Palace” and “Present Passed” would be a joy to take in. Unfortunately, when Librarians attempts to head in a new wave direction, it feels forced and repetitive. Present Passed is not without its highlights, and I can’t help but feel that Librarians still have a solid album in them.