You know what’s always a nice surprise? When PassCode just drops another free album preview right into your lap:
I was the 62nd person to see this video!
Their first video from VIRTUAL, “From Here,” was an okay enough song but not really “vintage PassCode” (shut up, that exists). “Axis” here isn’t, either, but it is in the right tradition: They’ve always had one foot in digital hardcore and one in pop punk, and this might be the closest that those two sides of their identity have ever come together at once.
It may also be a more accurate preview of what we’re going to get from VIRTUAL. I wonder about PassCode’s potential in the West as a cross-crossover kind of group, but they must be feeling pretty good about their breakthrough chances just in Japan right now — fancy merch, English-language media (for the international support, see), modeling gigs left and right … and softened edges on their core sound.
Yeah, “Axis” is lighter on the ears and less dense in its crunch than PassCode did on ALL IS VANITY, but I’m not going to pretend that the lack of a breakdown and a calmer chorus (albeit with Yuna screaming through it) actually hurt it. PassCode’s sound is maturing; they’re aware of their strengths and what makes them unique, and they’re building on them. That’s fine. If you like PassCode, it’s a sign that there’s more future there.