Passion Pit, Manners
An overflowing bucket of fun from the latest recipients/victims of the blog hype cycle
We need another band that mixes indie-rock and dance-pop about as much as we need foreign policy advice from Dick Cheney, but fortunately this Cambridge, Mass quintet throws a hell of a block party in that stylistic cul-de-sac.
Passion Pit debuted last fall to thunderous blog Hosannas with the Chunk of Change EP, which was anchored by the luxuriously drifty psychedelic-disco dollop, "Sleepyhead," a slow burner with the same lazy, under-the-blankets feel as the Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning" and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's "First of the Month." That disc sagged a little, but this full-length follow-up is a big, doofy overflowing bucket of fun. Singer Michael Angelakos's giddy-geek vocals mix exhilaration and alienation over dizzy tunes and summer-slam beats.
The booming snares on "Little Secrets" and "The Reeling" are banging enough to suggest fellow Bostonian Billy Squire's "The Big Beat," but the grooves are light and leery. The multi-tracked studio-sprawl woosh of "Make Light" is enormous enough, but despite dancefloor chants like "higher and higher and higher!" the emotional tone is bedroom-private — small and strange. The results are often euphoric, steadily slipping into a druggy/digital haze ("that's the kind of state I'm in / Swimming in a pool of godly medicine," they chirp on "To Kingdom Come"). Sliding to the end of a rainbow, these star-crossed soul kittens find … more rainbows.