Patois Counselors "Proper Release" LP
Side A: Disconnect Now, Last Heat, Get Excitement, Repeat Offender, Making Appointments, So Many Digits
Side B: Pffones, The Modern Station, Terrible Likeness, All Clean, Target Not A Comrade
Here we have it. Patois Counselors and their debut album Proper Release. Eleven slashes, eleven perfectly nervous trips to the well. And this North Carolinian band has landed in a welcoming hangar -- New York City’s always-adventurous Ever/Never Records.
It is readily apparent from lead-off cut “Disconnect Notice” that Patois Counselors bends towards the arch of Pere Ubu’s storied catalog, but instead of tripping on cracked street waves, they are on their front porch watching the sunset with a lukewarm beer clutched tight and wondering, “What next?” No Cleveland junk sunset for Patois Counselors, there’s a different kind of graveyard haunting these woods. Patois Counselors have given us an embarrassment of riches for a confederacy of dunces. The album title comes off as ironic maybe even a hint of the erotic, but to interpret any manner of cynical bluff into
PC’s full frontal attack is to admit a lack of imagination on the listener. Don’t let Patois Counselors’ easy Southern charm distract you from the detailed, focused intensity of its sound. Guitars buzz and clang in queasy unison, synths channel inherently melodic cicada hum, many of the songs containing noisy interludes streaked with melody. “Last Heat” vacillates menacingly, as “Get Excitement” slinks around with the pent-up humid sway of deep summer. “Repeat Offender” smacks you back awake with rapidfire Devo moves and yet another chorus to write home about. “Making Appts” takes those sideways electronics steps that Parquet Courts occasionally indulges in and teaches it the proper dance protocols.
A track like “The Modern Station” is as up-to-now as you can be in this media blitz age -- right-angle riffs rub up against double-tracked vocals, breaking down the future-modern dichotomy. But the craziest trick Patois Counselors pulls off is closing out the album with possibly its finest track, achieving a true zenith. “Target Not A Comrade” retains all the previous ten songs’ post-punk tension while seamlessly welding it to what could be the effortless pop shimmer of Psychedelic Furs. -e/n