Passage 4 was a skate punk from Arboga, Sweden, which existed from 1991 until 1997. Nowadays the band is credited for being one of the first skatepunk bands to incorporate elements of Emo/Indie Rock in their music.
Passage 4 was founded in 1991 in Arboga, Sweden. They released their first demo tape Baggy Sucks in 1994 which brought on the interest of the independent Swedish music labels Wounded Records and Brööl Records and the band subsequently released two songs on the 1995 compilations Icing ("Money Life") and Tjöplusta Part 2 ("Springfield"). Two of the songs off their demo E.P. ("School" and "Pride") had also been released on Paska Magazine's first cassette compilation Paska Tapes #1 in 1994. It would not take long until they released their first E.P. entitled Something To Start With in 1995 on Wounded Records. For the song "Team" of this record, a music video was shot. Apparently it was a "minor-mainstream TV hit", the music video can be found here . Also in 1995, they were featured on the Wounded Records and Deaf & Dumb Records collaboration compilation Deaf & Wounded with the song "Endville" from their first E.P. and the formerly unreleased "Today!", which would later be re-released on their first album. Perhaps as a result of the "Team" music video, the band was able to tour thourougly in 1996, for they were even booked for the famous Hultsfredfestival. That same year, they also released their first and only full-lenght album World Circus on Wounded Records. This record is widely recognized as a quite influential album and a classic of Swedish Skatepunk. It was no commercial hit, but it earned favorable reviews from all over Europe. In 1997 the band released their second and last E.P. Counterfeit on the German record label Gift of Life Records, which is their only release available on vinyl. That same year though, Passage 4 disbanded and their members went on to form or join other bands such as Landslide, Within Reach, Speedking, Primate Life, Lifeless Image and Franky Lee. In 1998 the two previously unreleased Bad Religion cover songs ("Billy Gnosis" and "What Can You Do?") played by Passage 4 were released on Tribute Records' A Tribute To Bad Religion Volume 2 tribute album.
- Daniel "Danne" Hedkvist — vocals (other bands: Landslide)
- Joakim "Jocke" Åhlander — Guitar (Other bands: Landslide)
- Robin Sundkvist — Guitar (Other bands: Within Reach)
- Anders "Carla" Carlsson — Bass (Other bands: Speedking; Primate Life)
- Joakim "Jocke E" Eriksson — Drums (Other bands: Within Reach; Lifeless Image; Franky Lee)
- Björn Hahne — Vocals (Other bands: Within Reach)
Passage 4's songwriting was mostly done by drummer Jocke E, who also wrote the lyrics. This is an explanation for the different sound and feel of Landslide, which retained singer Danne and guitarist Jocke, but not Jocke E as Passage 4's main songwriter.
- 1994 —Baggy Sucks (demo)
- 1995 —Something To Start With (Wounded Records)
- 1997 —Counterfeit (Gift of Life Records)
- 1994 — Paska Tapes #1 (Paska Magazine)
- 1995 —Tjöplusta Part 2 (Brööl Records)
- 1995 —Icing (Wounded Records)
- 1995 —Deaf & Wounded (Wounded Records/Deaf & Dumb Records)
- 1996 — Bombenleger (Ox Magazine)
- 1998 —A Tribute To Bad Religion Volume 2 (Tribute Records)
One problem that is often encountered by a person who wants to obtain hard copies of Passage 4 records is the availability of these, as they are all out of print. While most of the compilations on which Passage 4 is features can still be obtained inexpensively from many sources, their E.P.s are harder to aquire, even if they are still seen being sold for more or less acceptable prices from time to time. The album World Circus is probably one of the most expensive Skatepunk CDs that can be obtained, with prices starting at $100 and some people even paying as much as $500 for the record. The demo and the Paska Tapes #1 compilation are extremely rare.
Passage 4 are well known for their incorporation of Emo-Indie Rock elements in their music. Their music is certainly not the fastest skatepunk there is, but the almost omipresent doubletime drum beat and the syncopation in the chord progressions and riffs shows that Passage 4 is clearly a skatepunk band. Their vocals, though, differ from Californian Skatepunk bands and also from other Swedish Skatepunk bands from their era (e.g. Adhesive), as they are a mixed quieter, remind one of vocals from 1990's Emo-Indie Rock bands (e.g. Sunny Day Real Estate or Mineral) and use vocal harmonies more sparsely than those bands' vocals. The Emo-Indie Rock feel is enhanched by placing quieter and slower parts in songs such as "Was it meant to be?" and generally adding slower songs to their records, that even have some guitar riffs that are reminders of Emo-Indie Rock (e.g. "Human Doll"). Passage 4 is widely appreciated for their unique vocal melodies. Passage 4's musical style has evolved over time, in their demo E.P., they still showed some Ska influences reminiscent of other Swedish Skatepunk bands of their era (e.g. Millencolin) which were abandoned by Passage 4 shortly afterwards.
Earlier Passage 4 lyrics suffer from the fact that they are not written in the band members' native tongue. They already made some attempts at more philosophical songs on their first E.P. (e.g. "Wrong" or "Endville"), but extended this on their first album with songs such as "Was it meant to be?". Most of their lyrics have a rather melancholic feeling to them and most of them deal with serious matters, though often somewhat ciphered. They still do have some more uplifting lyrics such as "Team". With their serious, ciphered and personal lyrics, they also remind one of Indie-Emo Rock bands of the 1990's.