ALBUM REVIEW: PATRÓN – PATRÓN
PATRÓN, the new project of Lo, previously of Loading Data, is a curious melting pot of influences, from fifties rock ‘n’ roll to ‘80s synth pop. Carried by the instantaneously recogniseable vocals of Lo (aka PATRÓN himself), this band have their sound absolutely nailed, but are frequently let down by repetitive, and at times, uncomfortable lyrics.
Album opener Room with a View instantly catches the attention of anyone in earshot. It’s a lazy, chromatic song with one hell of a groove. The instrumentation is interesting, spanning classic rock and roll and melding it with synths straight out of the 80s, but it’s PATRÓN‘s vocals which really set this sound apart. His voice is full and deep, similar to Jim Morrison, and perfect for this interesting meeting point of eras and genres.
The execution of the band’s sound continues to be strong and seriously groovy throughout the album. The keyboards (PATRÓN and Alain Johannes) are added to perfection, as are wisp beats on the drums (Joey Castillo), during the brilliant chorus of Who Do You Dance For?, which smacks of a more sinister Royal Republic. Each song, however, eventually suffers from repetitive lyrics and structure, leaving us feeling slightly short-changed by the time the song ends.
Seventeen is a strong track, clocking in at nearly seven minutes, which sees PATRÓN taking on the role of an aging observer of life passing him by, in the wake of a school shooting which the protagonist carried out. Wild west-inspired with sliding guitars and brushed drums, this sinister song is once again carried by PATRÓN‘s lazy and drawling vocals.
Already feeling somewhat put on edge by the album cover (seriously, do we still need to use someone else’s boobs to sell music these days?), we notice the hints of misogyny creep in, in more than just the cover. Songs like Very Bad Boy – despite making excellent use of backing vocals – sees something of a… distinctly creepy thread running through the mission statement of this band, seen in the lyrics (“come and be my Red Riding Hood / come and sit on my lap now, honey / don’t be afraid of the wolf” from Room with a View is particularly questionable). Creepiness and sleaziness is something which is clearly integral to this band’s sound. It’s clear that they consider themselves to be sexy and irresistible, but it comes across as arrogance, and lacking in self-awareness a few too many times for our liking.
PATRÓN‘s sound is an impressive mixture of dance-like grooves and face-melting riffs with a timeless tone melding vintage vocal harmonies with futuristic keyboards, synths and aesthetics. However, it’s a little repetitive – consistently so, over the eleven track album. At times, the lyrics sway from confident and sultry to downright creepy, and sometimes they take it too far, even for this band’s carefully curated sinister image. Overall, however, this album is certainly worth your time, and we’re excited to see how these guys develop their sound further in future releases.
Standout Tracks: Room with a View, Seventeen
For Fans Of: Royal Republic, Clutch, Kyuss
Written by: Rosie Esther Solomon