Fifteen or so years ago the term ’emo’ exploded and with it came a barrage of bands who, for the better part, poured out clichés that that generation of music fans expected and wanted. At times it was unashamedly cringe worthy and eventually lead to the genre eating itself from the inside out, becoming a parody of copycat bands with stagnant unoriginal sounds (aside from some truly great bands that appeared from this period).
Cut to present day and obviously there will be a slew of current bands that will be inspired by that brand of music. It would be a lie to say that this isn’t the case when it comes to Patrons however, it would be a disservice to them and their album As Above, So Below if it the band were purely written off with this tag. This is a record that embodies more than just a single genre, cleverly adopting its influences and amalgamating them with everything in between then and now, spearheading a sound that is both fresh and incredibly interesting. Although it very much fulfills the emotional role of the emo genre, it is removed of those tired old clichés we began to associate with that style of music, especially lyrically where the band tread poetically among a littering of ill feeling.
Songs like ‘Eighty Four’, with its jaunted guitar rhythm and almost Spanish sounding bridge and ‘Army of One’, with its quirky guitar licks and stop start drumming, see the band recall Infinity Land era Biffy Clyro as much as anything else.
‘War & Pieces’ showcases an emotional hardcore side to Patrons that recalls early Pianos Become The Teeth; guttural shouts cut through the crushing verse before the band pull themselves into a radio friendly chorus. And then there are songs like ‘Listen’; a quietly haunting moment, highlighting the band’s knack of orchestrating a collection of cinematic sounds. It’s on this track that we fully hear vocalist Danny Brooks incredibly dynamic range.
With As Above, So Below, Patrons have created an album of clear thought. With small nuances, every listen unloads more audio surprises, with the emotional capacity of the band clawing at your heart strings while you find yourself at a balance between smiling and being ripped open by its intensity. It’s rare to find a band that have seemingly collected a large majority of the influences that I, as a reviewer, have been affected by during my life, and ambitiously collected them all onto one record. However, with this record, Patrons are that band, and if any act can spearhead a revival, it isn’t going to be one of those golden oldies, it’ll be these guys.
As Above, So Below is out March 31st via Rose Coloured.