Exposé Online banner

Passionfix — This and That
((Not on label) no#, 2020, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-10-21

This and That Cover art

Based in Baltimore since the early 80s, Passionfix played their last live gig in the early 90s, after which they became a studio-only project, releasing material intermittently in all the years since. In fact, just last year we reviewed an album by Julie Keough titled Every Other Color, on which all of the songs were written by Passionfix guitarist and keyboardist Dave Kelly and the supporting musicians throughout were also from Passionfix (along with a large network of guest players); prior to that, Keough was the group’s regular singer, as evidenced on the 2017 album The Opposite of This, but in 2019 she joined the US Air Force as the lead singer of the Air Force Academy band Wild Blue Country, necessitating a re-shuffle in the Passionfix ranks. For the brand new album, This and That, mainstays Dave Kelly (guitars, keyboards, songwriting) and Mike Kearney (bass) remain, along with drummer Simon Harris and new singer Kelly Secret. They must have searched long and hard for someone with a voice similar to Keough’s, because if a listener didn’t know otherwise, the two might well be mistaken for one another (of course part of that might be that all eighteen tracks were composed by Kelly in a similar style). Secret’s singing style is a no-nonsense, no-acrobatics approach, delivering the songs lyrics with power, soul, and passion. In addition to the four principals, there are ten guest players contributing everything from piano, violin, horns, harmonica, additional guitars, and backing vocals on this track or that. Throughout, the style is centered around a soulful pop sound, sometimes delivered with an aggressive style — Secret’s delivery on “Just Another Tattoo” or “A Day Like This” or the closer, “Flow Me,” really deliver the goods, though tunes like “Frozen” or “The Highway” take a more gentle approach filled with intense emotion. “Do You Remember Me” is a fast-paced country-blues standout with some superb harmonica work. “Gave It Away” has Secret in top form with mostly acoustic guitar accompaniment, a truly engaging number and certainly one of the album’s standouts. Most of the tunes are in the three to five minute range, and like I said earlier there are a full eighteen of them, totaling 80 minutes, which makes This and That the equivalent of a two LP set, a lot of listening for one sitting. But familiarity only comes to those with patience, and there are so many great songs here it would be a shame to let the length of the set get in the way.


Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Passionfix

More info
http://passionfix.hearnow.com/this-and-that

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Iron Kim Style - Iron Kim Style – It starts out with a loose groove and wah-wah trumpet, so the first impression is of electric Miles Davis, though with more guitar and no keyboards. Later, as more diverse elements show up, that...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues