The opening riff of Where’s The Giant, Mansley?! from No, This Is Patrick’s self-titled album is like a wave of nostalgia in the form of something brand new. The guitar track and vocals could be classic pop punk from the late ’90s/early ’00s heyday, but they’re bolstered by machine gun drums and the kind of backing vocals more usually found in screamo songs.
Alas, Earwax furthers this duality – more melodic, but with more demonic hardcore vocals for emphasis at key points. Unexpectedly, there’s a key change that would seem more suitable for boy bands than screamo bands.
Ehhh, Dan? solidifies the old-school emo vocal and sentiments, although more optimistic than a lot of their predecessors: “I know I’m not alone in this life/I’ve just got to focus on the light.”
Come Around is even sprightlier, with the drummer working in overdrive yet again, to the extent that it takes a bit of time to tune into the lyrics in the chorus. The song is about the eye-opening, heart-opening effect of teenage love: “I was broke/You could see it/But you saw the light I never did/You made the sun shine and the birds start singing/And showed me all the things that I’ve been missing.”
M.C.B takes a turn towards the more purely sung and melodic side of pop punk, with an attempt at falsetto thrown in for good measure. It seems like the band’s best shot at a radio-friendly breakthrough song.
Buttz Carlton is a return to business as usual with fuzzy guitars, pogo-ready sounds, and hyper drumming. Next up, the vibe of Incredibly Sad Wizards edges towards a New Found Glory style song.
Unincorporated Ducktown is one of the catchiest songs on the album and also the most overtly political and lyrically clever: “We’re drowning in debt and fear/Three day jobs funding careers/They say that we’re entitled, impatient/The laziest generation/We know the truth/We were born to lose/They took it all for themselves.”
Yes, you guessed it. Since we’re in pop punk territory, it’s time for the inevitable pop cover! No, This Is Patrick have gone for Extreme’s 1990 hit More Than Words. It’s certainly not as slow as the original (or the Westlife cover) but it’s fairly restrained considering; it’s more sung than shouted and more pop than punk.
Tornado features the other pop punk staple, a brief spoken word sample ushering in the noise. It’s a strong song to close the album with reassuring lyrics: “There’s a message in this wreckage/It says you’re not alone just because you feel alone.”
No, This Is Patrick have produced an accomplished debut that balances their musical influences well. This Nashville group named after a SpongeBob SquarePants reference is recommended for fans of bands like Finch, PUP and The Movielife.
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