MALE PATTERNS

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

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MALE PATTERNS  photo by Grey Valentine

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.

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MALE PATTERNS  photo by Grey Valentine

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.  

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MALE PATTERNS photo by Sarah Winner

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.

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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 Ace Ventura 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. 

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MALE PATTERNS  photo by Sarah Winner

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!

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Listen to Male Patterns here.

To get their new EP, as well as LP, and more music from Albany (and elsewhere) go here.

DARK THOUGHTS • Do You Dream 7″

DARK THOUGHTS • Do You Dream 7” 45

Peterwalkee Records

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This Philadelphia band gets love from all around the world. If you’ve never heard them and are like me (semi out of touch), but love that East Bay Lookout Records sound then you need to grab some of their shit immediately. I think what does it for me with them is that they get it. They understand that the production is super important, and if these songs were produced in a modern way they might just be another generic pop punk band. But, like I said, they seem to get it, and always make sure that the recordings have that late 80s early 90s rawness that isn’t polished like many bands these days go for.  I think the bands recordings might be the most important thing about them. Sure, the songs are super catchy and melodic, but if they didn’t have that DIY sound I know that I’d have no love for them.  The shit doesn’t sound digital at all.
At any rate this is a single for the Must Be Nice album.  One of the two songs, “It’s Too Late”, on the B Side,  is exclusive for this here record.
(NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

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GREY C.E.L.L. • Self-titled LP

Grey C.E.L.L. S/T LP

King Of The Monsters Records

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Eleven scorchers on this beautifully colored 12” slab. The songs go by super quickly mostly due to this being a 45 rpm record.  These dudes weren’t on my radar at all until very recently.  This is harsh as all hell Philadelphia hardcore/punk. But it still has some weird quirkiness to it that keeps me interested, and also manages things from getting to generic. This record does have a massive 90s hardcore feel to it which I think works well for them.  There is some really cool guitar stuff happening with Janis who played (plays) guitar in Citizens Arrest. The drums and bass are spot on and are just rolling together and keeping the madness together. I love the harshness of the vox, they sorta remind me of San Diego’s Run For Your Fucking Life. If you like Citizens Arrest I’d imagine you’ll dig this as two of the four members are in CXA.

The lyric sheet apparently can be cut out to be turned into a zoetrope that becomes animated if played on a turntable at 45 RPM.  I am NOT going to be trying that with my insert, because it looks really nice and it would mean I no longer had a lyric sheet.   (NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

 

MAPLEWOOD NJ RECORD FAIR 11/24/19

Maplewood Record Fair Sunday Nov 24th 2019

Maplewood New Jersey

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Ok so this is a great record convention that takes place in the town I live in and is put on on by an older punk couple who love our community (and NJ in general).  This is Jenn and Charles second show, and they seem to be trying to do two a year at this point.  It’s organized very nicely. They’ve figured out how to make it work. I mean, who can argue with a $3 entrance fee with kids under 18 getting in for free?

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I had so much fun at this event, and I was there all day. Usually I can’t stomach something like this for that long. But I was able to catch up with friends from within the community of Maplewood to those who traveled afar. I even bought some records!

The fair had well over 40 dealers who were selling everything from vintage stereo equipment to records. Michelle and Cedar Ridge cafe come fully stocked with vegan baked goods.

Some of the cooler stuff I saw being sold there were Metallica Justice promo posters of some sort. They were def in some dudes basement for the last 20 years.  Dude busted 50 of them out and was selling them for $10 a shot, they are very cool.  Saw some really neat guitars, and amplifiers. Dave Golgano is a NJ staple who always has great Metal records for sale. I watched him sell a Razor Armed and Dangerous rarity for big bucks.  Folks were selling boom boxes, cassette tapes, 8 tracks, cheap CDs, turntables, vintage clothing and more vinyl than you can imagine in this very cool old room called the Woodland. I mean this is the kind of convention you dream of with older punk dudes who have gone kids book artist selling off their entire collections to those of us lucky enough to be there.  Do you need the entire Neurosis back catalog on colored vinyl? Well he had it.  You need some Pushead Bacteria Sour releases? He had ’em. 90s emo, hardcore and punk 7”s? My man had ’em. You looking to buy your old bands 10” record back? Well I did it… he had it.

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Its so awesome to see the young kids from the record collecting community involved as well.. sitting behind the tables wondering why their fathers and mothers are so excited about something you can actually hold in your hands as you listen to the music crackle and pop.

Seriously this was a great time, with basically every genre of music on every format imaginable available to people who are interested. I can’t wait for the next one in June.  If you live in in NJ, NY, or Philly don’t sleep on this event. (NW)

To find out about future fairs, contact: soundselusive (at) gmail.com

 

THE MIDDLE AGES • Self-titled LP

THE MIDDLE AGES • Self-titled LP

Ripe Records

THE MIDDLE AGES cover

You say you like the punk rock? If so, you’d be wise beyond your years to pick this long player up. It’s so good, or should I say great? I say great, because like any great punk rock this record makes you believe in all that is good about the music and everything that surrounds it.

The Middle Ages don’t crank out blazing fast punk, but that’s not to say they don’t rock and roll with abandon. It’s just they don’t bludgeon your skull with riffs and frantic speeds. Their power lies in super tight songs that bounce and careen around the room lodging themselves into your mental faculties for later recall hours after listening, and have a way of making you fiend for more. Give “Whoah Yeah” a spin and hear what I’m getting at. The dual vocals give these songs an extra punch. But they’re not delivered in an X way, or even a Nausea way. The Middle Ages have enough class to be their own band.

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The vocals are clean and direct, and they sound so good together as when they go out on their own. The guitar stings at times, and rips like a saw blade other, and that bass sounds f’n sweet, as it holds the whole unit together, and the drums are undeniable. The guys are a perfect union. It’s down right life affirming. (MA)

Please send me your releases for review, and zines, if you have one. Thanks. PO Box 25604, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

CASUAL BURN • Mean Things 12″ EP

CASUAL BURN • Mean Thing 12″ EP, 9 songs

Handstand Records

Casual Burn
I was pretty stoked to get this Casual Burn 12inch. The cover alone was intriguing to me because it reminds me so much of the cover of the “Smashed Hits” comp of singles by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. I thought that if this record heads down the same path as Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s early singles then I am in for a treat. Besides, other than Lost System, I haven’t heard a good goth band in a while. I put this 12 inch on and it’s not a treat. Look, it’s actually really good but I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around it. If it weren’t for the distinct vocals of Monet Maloof, I would think that this was a compilation of bands or a compilation of all the bands that she’s been in. If you are a fan of Goner Records, Neck Chop Records, and some Emotional Response Records then this is definitely your tea bag. Sonically I’d say they sound mostly like they are influenced by the bands on those labels and Brain F≠ (Brain Flannel). In more detail, it’s a mix of garage and angular post punk. The vocals are hollowed and coated in reverb and there are some kinda hardcore parts, too. I can totally see why folks would love this but I just don’t have the ear for it today. What will most likely happen is that I’ll go to a friends house and they will be playing this EP. An exchange like this will happen:
Me – Wow, this is cool. What is it?
Friend – The Casual Burn 12″. I got it because of your succinct and honest review. I really like the way you did your best to not tie any emotion or disinterest in the music to the record and still managed to frame it in a way that made me want to find out more.
Me – I should dig this out again. I was probably having an off day.
Friend – Fair.
Check out more here.
https://handstandrecords.com/store/items/casual-burn-mean-thing-12-inch-lp/

(JD)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

HOLY SHIT! • Not My Tempo 7″ EP

HOLY SHIT! • Not My Tempo 7”

A split release with Snuffy Smile ‎& Vinyl Smash ‎

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These guys have been around forever with out any real recognition.  I think I first heard their What the Fuck 7”EP in 2005-06, and loved it for its speed, quirkiness, and nerdism.  Its crazy too me that they’ve put out another ten or so 7” EP releases since then.  By now somebody should help to do a proper LP release with these Milwaukee, Wisconsin quacks.  

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One of my favorite things about this record is that I don’t think any of the eight songs on this ripper even hit 1 minute in length (er…well maybe the last song does).  You get the picture.  Musically this stuff is super jazzy and intricate while mostly played at ferocious speeds.  Goofy as fuck lyrics have you giggling along to this thrashy punk rock.  I do think these guys owe a little something to STIKKY.  I’m glad shit like this exists in 2019.  (NW)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

THE PSYCHOS • One Voice LP

THE PSYCHOS • One Voice LP

Radio Raheem

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This band was legendary to most of us who missed them in the early days.  I recall my buddy Telf had a cassette of the demo with zero info… no song titles, nothing… just the cassette tape. He’d play it for us all (a small group of hardcore buddies in upstate NY), but he would never allow any of us to copy it. He held it closely like it was the only copy.  That just sort of added to the legacy and mystery of this early New York Hardcore band.  All I really knew about them was that both Billy Milano and Roger from AF played in the band at different times.  That along with holding onto and trying on the classic T-shirt my buddy Jim MacNaughton’s wife owns were what I knew.  

Cooch and company over at Radio Raheem did a great job cleaning this shit up… I can only imagine what they had to work with as far as tapes, graphics etc. go. 

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In my opinion, this is an absolute must for anyone who deep dives into New York Hardcore.  Musically, this is very sloppy but also super catchy with a ton of heart and sometimes out of tune classic NYC hardcore.  It has everything a fiend might be scouring for… Good mosh parts, Don Fury recordings, a couple tracks with Tommy Rat on vox,, and some very cool images many of us have never seen of the band before now.   The booklet that comes with this vinyl is pretty incredibly put together. It looks cherry.  

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The one take I took out of this record was that It seems that the only two constants in this band over the years were the drummer and guitar player.  Singers and bassists seemed to be a rotating cast of characters.  

Don’t sleep on this.  (NW)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

BUFFET • All American LP

BUFFET • All American LP

Knw-Yr-Own, All You Can Eat, Resurrection

Buffet cover

When I first looked at the cover to this record I thought it was going to be some crummy pop punk band, or “folk punk.” Well, dear reader, the Buffet cover is very misleading. Instead of vapid pop punk, or “folk punk,” what these guys are cranking out reminds me of 7 Seconds (the vocals and some of the speedy parts), Clit Boys (strictly in the vocal delivery at times), and mid to late 1980s hardcore when bands started to experiment with structure changes and slowing tempos down to accentuate the faster parts. I hear traces of the later 80s Dischord sound in this too. Lyrically, they tend to be goofy with songs about pizza, shopping, material items, and things of that nature. But scratch just below the surface and these songs are observations on pressing issues of today, it’s just that they’re not bashing you over the head with the message. Clever tactic.

This is pretty good for a debut, and I wonder if there will be more to come. (MA)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

UNKNOWN RIVER DIRVER / RATIONS NOISE • split 12″ EP

UNKNOWN RIVER DRIVER / RATIONS NOISE • split 12” EP

86’d Records

URD:Rations Noise

Unknown River Driver sonically spin the control dials of the WayBack Machine, taking us back to 1991/92 with their mix of Jawbreaker (especially in the vocals) and Drive Like Jehu, but in place of love songs and who knows what exactly Drive Like Jehu were singing about, Unknown River Driver address the turmoil and politics of life, delivered in a poetic fashion and not with a bludgeon. The instrumental, “Song of the Cicada” stands out for its morose mood, but it’s the closer, “Misery & Liberty” which I like most, and it really sounds like a lost Drive Like Jehu track with the heavy drumming that gives more lift to the strong riffs. These five songs are an excellent introduction, and hopefully there’s more in the works. 

Rations Noise is just that. These five pieces are sound collages culled from live, practice, and studio recordings and reworked into sounds mostly unrecognizable. The purpose is to raise awareness, and hopefully inspire action in regards to the effects of the US using drones in war. It’s a grim and unsettling listen throughout, which I imagine is the intent. This could easily be a soundtrack for a documentary on the subject. It could be interesting to see if Rations continues to experiment with their sound in the future. Why not?  (MA)

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA