For me Dropdead might be one of the most important 1990s HC bands. I first saw them shortly after the demos were released in 1992 with Taste of Fear and Disrupt at a Unitarian Church in Albany, NY. Bob scared all of us by strutting around, and getting in peoples faces looking like an insane drill instructor or something. They helped to change and shape me forever. Their politics, and love for all things living really hit home with me. On top of that the fast gritty raw noise that they made was always keen to my ears. A perfect match.
If you aren’t familiar with Dropdead they are from Providence, Rhode Island, and have been around for 30 years, or something ridiculous. These demos started it all… “At the Cost of an Animal” is a brutal classic anthem that thousands of punks world wide know and sing along to religiously. It’s sort of their “Breaking the Law”… they play it at every show no mater what.
At any rate this LP is a remastered version of the bands two 1991 demos. Seventeen songs on side 1, and another 8 songs on side 2 (including a cool Infest cover). I’m glad to see this finally come out, I’m really not sure how it hasn’t been booted already after all these years. It’s always been evident to me that the band was really influenced musically by Swedish and Japanese HC …No Security is who first comes to mind when I listen to Dropdead, but there are many other bands that influenced these guys. (NW)
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This is a very current reissue of a super rare Japanese LP that came out back in 1992. It was pretty impossible to find the original for sure, even when it initially came out. It features the vocalist of Crow and a bunch of other Japanese hardcore alumni that people will go batshit over.
GNW really made a weird assed record indeed. To me it has more elements of psych and rock than it does maybe punk hardcore. I even hear some Zepplin in the vox approach toward the end of the record. Blasphemy, I know! When the hardcore parts do kick in they are so fierce and noisy that it makes all of the waiting well worth it. The guitars are buzzing like broken chainsaws. People will tell you there is some Amebix in the bands sound but I don’t hear it. I def see it in the art and the text used but Amebix sound like Venom… This sounds nothing like Venom.
Everything this label puts out is gold and sells out immediately. I’m happy to have been pointed in the right direction so that I could finally have this classic Japanese hardcore album on vinyl. (NW)
Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at:nate_gloom
I first learned of Male Patterns a few years ago when I was assigned their split EP with Scuzz at Razorcake. Had no idea what to expect, and then when I listened to their side of the split I had no idea why they weren’t getting a lot of coverage or rabid fan declaration on the social media platforms. A year or so later I listened to their LP and was even more blown away. They’re definitely worthy of your fandom when it comes to music of the short, fast and loud variety. They crank out abrasive blasts of hardcore punk with a certain heaviness that gives them a sonic edge over many.
They have a split with Executors that has just come out on Shock to the System that you need to check out.
Below is a short interview with Brendan conducted by Matt Average
Who’s who? What other bands were you in in prior to Male Patterns?
I’m Brendan. I yell into the microphone and I was in Neutron Rats. Mike “Moaky” Moak plays guitar and is still playing in Postage and After the Fall. Dan plays drums and was in Boston’s No Sir I Won’t and Libyans while KC who plays Bass used to play in Cancer from Albany.
Who’s idea was it to start the band?
Moaky got together with Dan and started playing around. They recruited Jamie, our original bass player, who later moved to Detroit and now plays in Immaculate Conception. Moaky asked if I wanted to sing and I went to his basement and they played the songs that they had written already and I thought they were great. I knew Moaky and Jamie before from shows in the Albany scene and we had worked together at a screen printing company. I had never met Dan before because he had been living in Boston, but he was in a slew of great bands and he and I connected quickly.
What is the name referencing? Anything in particular?
When I asked if they had a name yet, Moak said, “Male Patterns, ‘cause we’re old dudes.” We were all in our late 20’s when the band started in December 2013 and he thought it was funny. I took the name more about being a certain age in punk and the routines of human beings but I think I’m probably stretching it with all of that. No one was thinking too hard about the name. Unfortunately, when we first started, a couple of people here and there have been offended by the name and misinterpreted it as some kind of macho chauvinist thing and we couldn’t be further away from that. We didn’t get that at all.
Musically, when I listen to you guys I hear bands like Econochrist, and some of the heavier Boston bands of the past. Am I out of my mind thinking this?
Not at all. I’ve never heard us compared to Econochrist but I’ll take that. We definitely take a lot from old school hardcore punk. Negative Approach, some Poison Idea, SSD, but also from bands like Cut the Shit, Born Against, The Zucchini Brothers, and The Chemical Brothers. Especially the last two.
Yeah, I can hear The Zucchini Brothers in your sound. What albums of theirs do you recommend for the uninitiated?
Great question. All of them.
Is there an “Albany sound”?
I think when people think about Albany they think about its past punk and hardcore scene with bands like Monster X and Devoid of Faith. Nowadays Albany has a very diverse scene of music that’s all over the spectrum. Albany has bands that play hardcore punk, rock n roll, power pop and post punk dark wave type stuff. Today’s Albany sound is a great mix bag.
What is “Help Ourselves” about?
Alcohol and drugs are big in the music scene and they’re prevalent in punk too. By no means are we saying that you can’t have some fun but it’s also a serious issue that often gets overlooked because no one wants to stop the party. I’ve been to too many wakes and funerals for friends and I know I’m not alone. Punk is liberating and awesome but it can also be really self destructive. We can’t change anything unless we change ourselves first and too often we’re our own enemies. I go into that more on the new record in the song “Self Abuse”. It’s a song that I think unfortunately too many people will be able to relate to.
Despite everything being shut down for the moment, are you still working on new songs? If so, how?
Our guitarist has written some new riffs, he records them with his phone and sends them to us. We’re hoping at some point we can get in the same room again and play em out and put them together. Since we have no idea when we’ll be able to play shows again because of Covid, we’re mainly just trying to do what we can to get the word out on the new record. We’re just trying to do what we can with what we can control. It’s a weird time.
Can you tell us about the new record? When will it be out? Who released it? How much have you progressed sonically since the LP?
The new record came out August 1st. It’s a split that was put out by Shock to the System Records with our friends Executors from Beachwood, New Jersey. We have three tracks on it, and they have two. I’d say our new songs are a continuation of the LP. Lyrically we continue to cover more social issues than big politics or things like that. Similar style and straight forward structure. I think my vocals might be a little bit rougher on this recording because I have no idea how to control how I sound. I’ll go ahead and say that if you liked the LP you’ll love this split. If you hated the LP you’ll love this split even more.
What’s your favorite movie, and why?
School of Rock with Jack Black. I can watch that movie anytime. The music in it, the message, it’s good for everyone.
If they made of Male Patterns movie, what type of movie would it be, and what would it be about?
The Male Patterns movie would be terrible. No one is reading this right now thinking that our origins would make a good movie. There’s nothing special about how we got together, just how we do the things we do now. No one is a complete mess or falling apart either so that’s not movie material. You know what I mean? I mean, our drummer is his town’s historian. Male Patterns would go great in a movie where we played ourselves in it. Like playing a show then showing up later. Like Cannibal Corpse in AceVentura or Billy Idol in The Wedding Singer. We’d be playing somewhere the main character would go and then we’d help the main character get their love or save them from the bad guy somehow. Maybe after the show they go to some diner where we’re eating and right as the bad guy is about to clobber or draw his gun on the main character, our drummer Dan hits him with his snare drum. Why did he bring his snare drum into the diner? That’s for the people at Hollywood to decide but after he’d be like “Check please!” or maybe he’d say “This guy’s paying!” and then the main character could get on and win the day or whatever. It could be an action movie or romantic comedy or drama. We could do whatever.
What are you doing to stay sane in this moment of time?
My wife and I just built a pirate bar in our garage that we’re really proud of, so we’ve been spending a lot of nights in there. It’s a tribute to the golden age of piracy.
First thing you plan to do when we’re able to get back out in the world again?
Set up a release show for this record. Invite people over to my pirate bar for drinks and play more shows. That’s three things. Haha!
The legendary Nuart Theatre switched up their marquee recently with this quote from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, “I see you shiver with anticipation.”
For those who don’t know, The Nuart was one of the first movie theatres to begin showing Rocky Horror on a regular basis back in 1976. I have yet to attend a screening of that movie there, but I do know the line tends to wind around the building, and the crowd is full of hardcore fans. When we are finally able to return to the movie theatres safely I will definitely go and get in line
I’m also missing seeing this beautiful marquee lit up at night, and look forward to the nights when it’s lit up advertising whatever movie is playing on the screen, as well as their Friday midnight programming. Someday….. (MA)