Artist of the Week: Paul and the Patients

Paul And The Patients

After a quick and cursory listen to Paul And The Patients, a few things become immediately clear. First of all, the band makes accessible music, in the vein of the poppish, rockish and British variety. Second, it’s the kind of music that sounds simple, with matching lyrics, but really is not. Third, looking at this picture, they all apparently smoke. Fourth (and this is the kicker), you won’t want to like them… at first. It’s just too easy.

Comprised of Paul Holmes (vocals/guitar), Jay McBride (guitar), Pete Swan (bass), Dave Greenwald (drums) and Josh Ascalon (synths/vocals), the Brooklyn-based band just dropped their debut release, the To The Lions EP, via American Myth Recordings. The release party actually took place last Friday (6/19) at the Cake Shop in New York City, and the band has upcoming dates at both Webster Hall and Bell House.

With To The Lions, Paul And The Patients have delivered six meaty tracks that sound a great deal more evolved than the band’s age. Musically, this is the kind of band that the major labels try their best to create artificially. Catchy hooks abound, comfy atmospheres dominate, intelligent lyrics surprise, and it’s all easily accessible with a capital ‘A’. Moreover, Paul proves his songwriting chops by not writing the same song six times; each track has a completely different mood than the one before it.

Highlights will indefinitely vary between ears, but “Blogspot” is hilariously finger-snappy from the get-go. The more patient and adventurous might initially be drawn to “Black Beards”, as it bears both the EP’s longest running time and its biggest chorus. Or hey, start at the beginning with “Complaint 15,” in which Paul Holmes really stretches his vocal chords, and ends up sounding the tiniest bit like Jeff Buckley in the process. James Walsh of Starsailor also comes to mind, but in the end it doesn’t  really matter. A homophone-loving band like Paul And The Patients live and die by their chief’s voice, and in this case, the chief does indeed deserve that big piece of chicken.


Jun 19 2009  Cakeshop EP RELEASE! New York, NY
Jun 28 2009 at Studio @ Webster Hall in New York, NY
Jul 22 2009 at Bell House in Brooklyn, NY
Jul 25 2009 at Studio @ Webster Hall in New York, NY

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– Matt Lehtola


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