A few months ago, to fairly little fanfare, a band from Southampton called Burn The Fleet broke up. Though they may not have been the world’s most original band, their blend of Thrice’s soaring melodies paired with a honed sense of when to employ the right riff at the right time á la Alexisonfire, excelled both on record and in the live arena, and their presence will be sorely missed. Fortunately, emerging to fill their void (as the actress said to the bishop) are Plymouth’s Patrons, who will whet the appetites of anyone who has had their interest piqued by any of the names I’ve mentioned thus far.
Their debut self-titled EP consists of just three tracks, but it certainly grants one a good sense of Patrons’ sound and style; they describe themselves as being “most comfortable on stage”, and this release conveys exactly that. After a quiet beginning, the Devonian quartet crash in with all guns blazing on ‘Rituals’, and though instrumentally it’s formidable, the track reveals their weakest point from the off; Danny Brooks’ vocal just isn’t strong enough for this style of music. Dustin Kensrue, Dallas Green and even Andrew Convey of the aforementioned BTF could really belt it out; Brooks croaks like he’s just recovered from a particularly bad bout of laryngitis. His interplay with fellow guitarist Mark Hoynes is impressive, especially on the monolithic ‘Movements’; undercut by some thunderous drumming from James Corby, it’s hypnotic stuff behind the vocal, but Brooks’ voice sputters rather than soars.
It may just be unfortunate that this is the performance that came out on the day of recording, and Brooks is a powerful vocalist when in his element at Plymouth’s White Rabbit (shout out to years of trawling Kerrang! and Rock Sound for gig listings) or similar, but it unavoidably taints what is an otherwise strong debut release. A different vocalist, or at least a packet of Lockets for the current one, and Patrons would be a very promising proposition indeed – as it is, ‘Patrons’ is sadly underwhelming.
‘Patrons’ by Patrons is out now on I Hate It Records.
Words by Ollie Connors (@olliexcore)