We truly are living in the age of the blog. Thanks to the phenomenons of Hypemachine and Bandcamp, and the uprising of thousands if not millions of indie music blogs, music has become more accessible than ever. The individual now has the power to dictate the music industry, without having to deal with corporate fat cats and record labels. Through the Internet, we as listeners profit, and bands/artists we never would have heard of get their music to the public. Currently, I am most appreciative for The Pass and their fantastically fun debut album Burst. It seems the electro pop outfit from Louisville are grateful as well; the music video for their single “Vultures” references thirty different music blogs (including this one).
Members of the blogosphere got a first taste of The Pass when their self produced Colours EP was released in January; we at PMA have been frantically awaiting the LP since. Like Two Door Cinema Club's Tourist History, Burst is one of those records that never stops grooving, completely dedicated to riveting bass-lines and synth heavy arrangements. At first listen, The Pass sound like Phoenix meets Passion Pit if they were both messed up on acid: a louder, messier rock band whose infrastructure depends on electro pop. The more I listened to it, the more apparent it became that The Pass are spectacularly unique. They're too heavy to fit into the disco pop genre with Hercules & Love Affair, too rowdy to be placed with Phoenix. Their first single, the dance contagious “Vultures,” sounds like its already been remixed by Aeroplane; melodic guitar plucks, synth overtones, and an overly buoyant aura. The squeaky clean “Out Of Hand” displays electro funk at its finest while “Vinyl” sounds as titanic as Dom's “Living in America.” Mixer Alex Aldi, who's worked with Passion Pit and Tokyo Police Club, alleviates Burst until it sounds utterly crisp and sensuous, particularly “Rochelle,” a song equally seductive to Chromeo's “Don't Turn The Lights Off.”
If you enjoy one song on Burst, you pretty much like them all; it's jovial, energetic, and uplifting, reeking of disco swagger and a punk rock aptitude to boot. The cascade of electronic sounds The Pass display here, not to mention their keen ability to produce party bangers, makes Burst a pretty impressive debut from an unknown band. At first, it appears to only be dance punk, but than you soak in the funky overtones, the swinging synth resonance, the empathetic lyrics (see “Criminal”). You realize that The Pass are making music of their own devices on Burst. Though there are slower, dreamier moments (see “Fate”), it's a perfect record for a party or a casual chilling session. Better heard with headphones.