Passion Pit - Chunk Of Change (Columbia)

Chris Tate | Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Passion Pit - Chunk Of Change (Columbia)

Passion Pit is the brainchild of Michael Angelakos, who originally recorded 'Chunk Of Change' as a Valentines Day gift for his girlfriend. The song was picked up by French Kiss records in the States and has been released in the UK by Columbia. Now, with additional musicians on board, the BBC are currently touting the band as one of the 'Sounds of 2009', along with Little Boots and La Roux.

If the music on 'Chunk Of Change' occupied a genre of its own, it would be 'Playskool Beat', due to the sunny tunes and the use of kiddies' music equipment. Throw in the almost gender-bending falsetto vocals, and you have a somewhat distinctive sound. However, the only problem is that distinctive sounds can divide opinion down the middle (Mika springs to mind).

Listening to the lead track 'Sleepyhead', you can't help getting the feeling that Angelakos is trying too hard to be outlandish for it's own sake. The tune (and the other songs on the EP) is built on a static thumping beat and is full of odd esoteric sounds that either compliment or grate. Unfortunately the latter is more prevalent and this, coupled with the lack of any real structure lets the song down. In fact, just when you think that the song is going somewhere, it maddeningly finishes! Furthermore, the falsetto vocals annoy after a very short time, so maybe dropping an octave would be easier on the old ear drums.

That said, Passion Pit are a promising outfit and if they concentrated less on being plain weird and polished up their songwriting, widespread acclaim may follow. Injecting 'light and shade' (as Jimmy Page often called it) will stop them sounding like a one-trick pony, as there is only so much odd bleeps and a novelty keyboard can do for a tune.

Rating: 3/5