Ambitious, Genre-Defying PASSIVE FIX Kick Off December With Their Latest Single ‘Red Lights’

Published on 2 December 2022 at 11:09

Words: Max Bradfield


Midlands based four-piece Passive Fix rreleased their newest single ‘Red Lights’ today, Friday, the 2nd of December. Continuously aiming to blur the lines between the genres of pop, jazz, metal, punk and rock; Passive Fix believe this latest captivating track does just the trick.


A high and melodic lead strikes comparison to Nothing but Thieves in this one – if he was flung into a backdrop of a swirling swell epitomised by rumbling guitar and bass with a mischievous saxophone. Amidst the impassioned and gifted delivery of the lyrics, cult-like chanting really boosts this song into an atmosphere of its own. 


Passive Fix succeed in their mission to traverse genres. A remarkable fusion of jazz, punk and metal – there are perhaps nods at outside influences. For me, there were notable prangs of Opus Kink or even Black Midi with the enthralling drumbeat. In the closing sequence – the shackles are off the energetic sax and the final sequence is something to simply marvel at. On release, this should definitely get heads turning on to this band.


The group wrote ‘Red Lights’ at their self-created writing retreat in Cambridge. Formed musically from a jam which involved a bass riff played using the pitch-shift effect on a Helix pedalboard, saxophone was added and the strong melody you hear today. ‘Red Lights’ is the first song that Passive Fix have written collectively.


It was entirely recorded, produced, mixed and mastered impressively by the band themselves. Recorded at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC), the song is creatively unrestricted, with various styles and instrumentation on display. Although the music is impressive, you can’t take anything away from the dark narrative created. Of the lyrics, vocalist Alex McCarthy said

“‘Red Lights’ is about guilt and temptation.  The story follows a man as he meets up with a woman in a seedy hotel. He has a partner yet is close to cheating on her with this female character.  Each pre-chorus asks the characters individually if they are ‘strong enough to fight temptation’, with the verses detailing the night they’re spending together.”