First things first, before I delve into this EP, I have to admit that before I got asked to review this EP I knew absolutely nothing about Patchwork Society.
I now know two things about them. The band hails from Manchester and they play punk rock. Straight up, no BS punk rock. So I’m already a fan.
This 5-track EP, Sub-Par at Best is the band’s first proper release, and it’s quite apparent upon listening to it that that is the case. The band name Patchwork Society is fitting as this EP feels like a patchwork of all the various punk influences the band has:
Getting proceedings underway is ‘Head Poisoning’. This track sets the pace for the rest of the EP. Following a brief bass intro the band launches head first into their familiar late 80’s/early 90’s punk sound. There’s some quality lead guitar thrown in for good measure and a nice heavy breakdown towards the end of track. This song wouldn’t sound out of place on Bad Religion or Descendants album. The vocals especially seem very Bad Religion inspired.
The next track ‘Mia’ really reminds me of Green Day’s Uno!, Dos!, Tre! Album trilogy, albeit with a bit more stank on it. For me this is the strongest song lyrically on the EP. There’s some clever wordplay around Mia and M.I.A.
After this comes two real shots of energy in the Rancid inspired “Time to Waste” and the short, and to the point “Who the F**k are You?!”. These two tracks are my personal favourites as they bring that proper punk energy and spirit. It’s nice to hear a band who sound like they’re having a good time and enjoying their music especially in today’s scene when everybody’s trying too hard to be cool and edgy with their sound.
Bringing the EP to a close is ‘Running Away From Home”, my least favourite song of the 5. On its own it’s a solid enough track, but its more dramatic tone doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the EP. The song feels a bit tacked on, like the band are trying to cover as much of the punk spectrum as they can. Of course that’s to be expected. This is Patchwork Society’s first release so they won’t have their sound nailed down yet and there’s no harm in trying different stuff. It’s just not to my liking personally.
My main takeaway from this EP is how well I can see these songs transitioning into a live show. Patchwork Society are clearly a talented bunch and have a lot of good energy which I think would really resonate with a live audience. This EP is a good foundation for the band to build from. I will be interested to see where they go from here as they look to refine their sound.
Article by Daniel Morris