Local Love: Patterns
Patterns. Artwork: Shelby Hohl
Sometimes I know people in bands and they make the kind of music that isn’t really something I’d find myself gravitating towards. It’s just one of those things that happens when you write about music and when you hang out with artists. That was how I felt about Houston’s Patterns, at least until I heard their debut album Like Ships to Sirens. The group mixes hints of metalcore and prog into a hardcore aesthetic complete with screamy vocals that create an impressive sound. The advantage to music is that even when you think that a band is making something that you’re not normally into, sometimes they can change your mind, and that’s exactly what happened here.
The album kicks off with the thematic opening of “Myth & Legend,” starting off the album’s mythological theme. The squealing guitars and thunderous drums that emanate with the gruff and coarse vocals create an intensity that isn’t being matched by many Houston acts today. This gets followed by the prog heavy intricate guitar on “Propaganda & Porcelain Smiles.” While the dual backing vocals lightened up a crazed and heavy energy, they did also add to the band’s overall sound in a positive way. The snappy stride of the track moves along with a quickness that echoes riffs from the early days of Metallica with the speed of Megadeth while keeping a real math rock background going in the song’s direction. The way in which the band segues through rhythm changes with ease is something to behold, while they never really lose your attention by keeping things heavy in every department.
They keep the energy levels high on the following song, “Fool Me Twice” where the pace is fast and the gurgling vocals make the band sound like they’re playing in the middle of a war ravaged nation. While the interlude feeling of “Arduous Wanderings” comes in after like a palette cleanser, before the more melodic sounds of “Death on the Rocks” glide on. The band doesn’t keep things light by any means though as they immediately employ chunk riffs and keep their intensity in tact with each and every passing note. The dual vocals that come in again keep things from getting too heavy, but they never deter from the intent that Patterns is utilizing. Two tracks later the band takes you down the rabbit hole on “Libby Ln.” The almost black metal vocals mixed with the rhythm section adds a vigor and extreme sound to the already immense sound that the band is reaching for. The precision in the riffs and the growling bass lines make the song one of the more progressive tracks on the album. This heaviness continues on “Mark it Zero” where the band never really lets up in the course of the almost five minute track. With an almost down tempo pace, Patterns continues to mix things up before offering up a breakneck sound that makes them more diverse and subversive than anyone else in their genre. Things get finished off by the slower and almost throwback beginning to “Credits,” where the band seems to embody the eighties metal influences from the past. It doesn’t make the song a metal one, it’s just an interesting turn before they take a ninety degree turn in rhythm and approach while continually changing directions.
The overall feel to this album is that it sounds like all of what I’ve wanted from a band playing this kind of music. Intense and dark vocals mixed with blistering drums and a precision based chord progression coming from the bass and the guitars make the album a difficult one to ignore. You can like Patterns on Facebook here, or stream the album on Spotify here, or even grab a physical copy from them when they perform next on Saturday, February 11 for Bloodfest at Scout Bar. Because I’m pretty sure that after you hear this record, you’ll want to see them live sooner than later.