As with this time of year, we’re forced to dig in and admit that we missed some albums over the course of the year. One album we’re not sure how we didn’t get on our radar was Essentials by New York’s Patio. The trio mixes post-punk with cathartic vocals that create a tone that reminds you of what would’ve happened if Kim Deal ran the Pixies.
The intrigue comes with how the three piece constructs their songs. Their version of post-punk is vastly different than how most bands are making it today. The way they blend vocals as a stand alone alongside attack driven guitar tones is like no one else. This appears on the opener “Split.” There’s still plenty of melody between the bass the drums and the guitars; but it’s all done in an inventive way. In fact, the whole album plays out like that. With “Endgame” the band offers up a tone that might remind you of Magazine, but they still stay in their own lane. On “Scum” they offer swirls of tone that fall like leaves from a tree, yet that attack is still present.
The entire album is like a new way to look at a forgotten genre. While we’ve seen more post-punk bands in the past five years than we’ve seen in the previous twenty, the way they write is far and away one of the more creative. Tracks like “No Time” and “New Reality” come in with heft but still stay within the confines of the genre. Others like “Boy Scout” and “Open” have an endearing presence without being sugary. However, of the ten tracks our favorite comes on “Vile Bodies.” The way the vocals meld with the bass at the opening before the drums thunderously pound in with leering notes of guitar creates a masterful tone. The echoed vocals offer a sound that’s like no one else while the stride of the song checks all of your post-punk boxes.
Essentials is available physically directly from Fire Talk Records. It can also be purchased from all digital outlets or streamed on all platforms. Patio will be appearing at The Knitting Factory in New York, NY on New Year’s Eve and at The Hi-Hat in Los Angeles, CA on January 17. Their current and future tour dates can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Kelsey+Wagner.