Album Review

Passion Pit - Manners

When an EP entitled Chunk of Change came through my record mail last year I was quick to dismiss its creator, a band called Passion Pit, as just another synth-pop, electronic band riding on the coat tails of MGMT, Justice, or even Bloc Party. Afterall, thats how the music is labeled when it reaches me - with tags like "synth-pop", "electro-rock", and so on and so on. After a while those labels begin to look awfully generic. By the point I had this band's debut EP in my lap I had already decided to push it aside for the moment. Since then I have listened to Chunk of Change only a handfull of times. The amount of praise that I've heard regarding this band, however, has outweighed every note on that EP ten-fold. Passion Pit has become a band that you can no longer ignore.

By the time the full length follow-up to Chunk of Change was due for release, the buzz surrounding Passion Pit had become undeniable. As I listened to Manners for the first time I met the music with an instant but oh so quiet reprieve. As the opening track "Make Light" burst through my speakers like a billion digital rays of light I knew I had to keep listening.

Manners works like a high school party in reverse - like one that starts from the morning after and works backward into the night. On the surface it's fast, rhythmic, and fun but beneath there is a chaotic opus driven by undulating waves of beautiful emotion. And it's all there - from happiness to misery, desire, denial, and departure - done in a way that reaches back and slaps the synth-stereotypes completely away. From the undeniable dance jams of "Little Secrets" and "The Reeling" to the gorgeous melodies of "Folds in Your Hands", Manners will carry you from beginning to end without even the slightest hint of record filler - a claim that few can honestly make. And as for the labels, calling Passion Pit an electro-rock band is like saying Led Zeppelin were influenced by the blues - this goes way beyond just a vague comparison. Albums such as Manners remind us that bands like Passion Pit aren't merely revisiting a genre but rather paving a course for the sounds that lay ahead.

Posted by sinclair on 06/24 at 07:54 AM