UK-based hardcore outfit Patrons are a band to remember if their self-released second EP The Momentary Effects of Sunlight is anything to go by. The new EP is small and subtle, standing only at four tracks, but they’re four tracks exploding with passion and technical ability from a band who are promising to carve their initials firmly into the heart of the hardcore scene. While large parts of the EP could comfortably be called melodic rock, Patrons manage to bring a variety of different sounds and influences into this short space. Elements of punk are not hard to hear, with some emo and progressive sounds coming to the fore as well.
The intro works to lure you in with simple string-work and gentle vocals, slowly building the momentum until the chorus hits you with the volume turned up to max, the hooks come flying in and the vocals get a hell of a lot more gruff and aggressive. With the exception of the single line of vocals screamed while standing back from the mic (a technique I still fail to understand the point of), opening track ‘Lost Age’ really delivers as a crafted entry into the alternative/hardcore genre. From the teasing beginning to the funky breakdown and powerful reoccurring outro, Patrons are right on the money here.
‘Circus’ kicks in a lot faster and it is here that I start to hear why there have been comparisons to Thrice and Biffy Clyro thrown around. There are a lot of the same melodic rock sounds dominating, as the last minute or so takes over and steals the show again with a quality breakdown closing out in riffs and crashing cymbals. The only criticism would be that in such a short EP, is it different enough from the first track? It slides smoothly from clean guitars and vocals into a crunching wall of heaviness – just as ‘Lost Age’ did – but little else is on offer.
So what we need is something a bit different… Enter third track ‘Old Rain’. The song may be short, but it is full of riffs and hooks. The track is simpler than the first two, with a more consistent tempo which helps the vocals take centre stage. Even after the first listen it is clear that ‘Old Rain’ has the potential to be a fan favourite, with emo-esque lyrics of standing tall despite all of the pain life throws at you.
Patrons end the EP with the sort of song usually reserved for full length releases; a seven-minute epic of passionate vocals and even more melodic riffs: ‘Blood Symphony’ is a pretty darn good note to end on. It does follow a similar clean-to-dirty formula as the first two tracks, but it brings enough variety in to keep the listener interested for the whole song. Technically it doesn’t try to overcomplicate things and become two-songs-in-one, but it provides enough avoid the trap of sounding too ‘samey’ and going on for too long. It provides a balance of lyrically ‘releasing anger’ and ‘building up confidence’, another pretty emo trait, closing out happy in the knowledge that this song will get stuck in your head.
As far as EPs go, The Momentary Effects of Sunlight is a solid release which shows more than a glimpse of what this band is capable of. They’re not breaking down the boundaries of hardcore, but by introducing other influences they manage to craft a refreshing sound which makes it easy to see why Patrons have caught the attention of many different publications so far this year.
4 out of 5 high fives!