Album Review: Patrón – Self Titled

  • Peter Hough posted
  • Reviews


Patrón - Klonosphere

The problem with ‘supergroups’ is that the expectations of fans are based on what they are comfortable with and already enjoy. When the reality of such a group’s output doesn’t match those criteria, it can call into question the validity of the project. Patrón is the creation of French heavy groove rock band Loading Data frontman Lo (also aka Patrón )and comprises members of Danzig, QOTSA, The Bronx, Screaming Trees, Tuatara, Kyuss and more. With hard-hitting names like that, there was bound to be a high expectation of this recording project.

While this eponymous self-titled debut full-length might have become is a kind of Franken-album. It isn’t. While the personnel might be stellar (Joey Castillo, Nick Oliveri et al), the overriding impression is of Lo‘s own larger than life personality. He’s a kind of even more whisky-sodden Nick Cave with an alarmingly soulful deep baritone that really carries the depth of the sorry tales of seedy motels, murder and adultery, told over a sleazy, heavy duty, grinding rock soundtrack.

This is an album of urban tales set to whacked out, bluesy rock that’s disciplined and understated but immensely powerful and affecting. The mental picture it generates is of smoky bars and low-rent hotels populated by vivid low-lifes. It’s a sensual and pulsing record that speaks directly to the animal instinct. There’s also a heightened sense of drama particularly in songs such as Hold Me Tight in which staccato phrasing suggests the tension of the bullfighting theme of a Paso Doble. As a counterpoint, there is a country feel to some of the songs. Seventeen is a black small-town crime drama straight out of the Johnny Cash songbook.

A smorgasbord of dark pleasures and cautionary tales, this album will appeal to you if you like the seedy underbelly of life. A David Lynch film for your ears.

Patrón is out now on Klonosphere.