April 22, 2016

EP: Patio - Luxury

Patio is the millenial punk band that we need.

Drummer Alice Suh begins the first track on Patio's new EP, titled Luxury, with a bit of a blip. After just a second of drumming, she stops. You can hear an expletive followed by a laugh and just like that, the drums kick right back in. This spontaneous moment sets the tone of false starts and redemption over the next few songs. There are feelings of confusion and boredom one moment and declarative statements the next. It’s a story of three twenty-somethings who are constantly going but perhaps making no moves at all. Are there ever clear signs that your life is progressing? When and how do you truly start your life?

Bassist Loren DiBlasi is matter of fact in the opening track "Luxury", talking steadily instead of singing. She notes, “I shift between anger and apathy, luxury and violent tendencies”, in one of the standout lyrics from the EP. Everyone can relate to the notion that you either walk around furious at everything or you're apathetic for reasons you cannot figure out. The want for a profusion of time or money and the desire to destroy everything it would take to acquire it. The lack of control in your own life is present every day and outside forces only seem to be fighting against you. There was supposed to be some kind of path to follow but you wake up seemingly stuck in between choices you should be making. Apathy keeps you stuck in the never ending questioning of what’s next.

Sometimes even getting out of the apartment is a monumental activity, as is the case in the song "Arbitrary Numbers". Guitarist Lindsey-Paige sings of the exact moment: “I can’t make myself go outside and pull it together." The drums are a driving force in each song but Alice adds syncopated beats to increase a sense of instability. The bass line is distinguishable in every song and shines particularly in "Arbitrary Numbers" and "Half Dead." In the fast-paced "Gold", the tongue-in-cheek lyric “I may be punk but I love gold!” is shouted. It's a taunt at punks who are known to take themselves a little too seriously; a welcomed change of pace that packs a lot of personality into one tiny song.

Patio is the punk band we need. The stagnation of one's twenties is a common topic in music, but Patio's songs are more accessible than most. They do not speak in clichés or hyperboles and they don’t have to. Even the most mundane days have a feeling that can be shared. In fact, most people would be surprised by what they can find when they shed light on their own day-to-day. As I approach the end of the EP, I feel similar to the members of Patio. I'm fixed in a place of self-reflection and accepting the uncertainty of every decision I make. The final song "Takeout", which gives me the same feet-on-the-ground dreamy feeling I have when I listen to The Spinanes' album Manos, ends with the summarizing message, “Thought I was here but I’ve been somewhere else the whole time”. It can be a jarring realization to feel as if you're suddenly waking up and finding yourself right where you began. You feel as if time has only been wasted. However with time, I have come to believe that this realization is perhaps progress itself, and maybe we all don’t give ourselves enough credit for it.


Listen to Patio on bandcamp.

Hannah Shields is a former child prodigy and current unemployed college drop out. When she is not writing things and filming things about herself you can find her on stage talking about herself and calling it comedy.