It's easy to be cynical. When a band like Passion Pit attract the level of unfounded hype that's usually the preserve of the effortlessly pleased, expectations are almost immediately lowered. It's also easy to be jaded by a music scene that often seems more intent on discovering a weekly 'Next Best Thing' than it is engaging the genuine talent.
True, the Massachusetts band set themselves up quite nicely with their 'Chunk of Change' EP released earlier this year, but that brief collection also seemed to be missing some unidentifiable essential ingredient. Whatever it was, Michael Angelakos and co. feverishing mine that missing component on their full-length debut. 'Manners' is not only an innovative record (Angelakos's otherworldly falsetto plays a vital part) that dabbles in an assortment of genres, it's one that's as fun and as fizzy as a midnight raid on a pick 'n' mix counter.
'The Reeling', for example, glistens and twirls like a discoball in a scuzzy indie club; 'Little Secrets' takes a series of stunted synth blasts, a children's choir and a dosage of '80s pop and blends them together on a swerving fairground ride, while 'Eyes as Candles' sounds like a leftover track from a John Hughes film soundtrack. Elsewhere, 'Moth's Wings''s airy widescreen sound adds some welcome drama to the mix, and 'To Kingdom Come' is one of several more measured numbers as the album winds down, ensuring that there's enough space to absorb an admittedly hectic collection. The festival band to see this year? Without a doubt - but this record is also strong enough to endure beyond the summer haze.