Salt Lake City band Patter Stats' debut album, What is this Beast? is available now on iTunes.---
Listening to What is this Beast is an experience that gets better as the CD goes on, as if Patter Stats recorded each song in succession, beginning as a new band who isn't quite used to playing together and finding their identity about halfway through the CD.
The first three songs of the album have a bit of a '90s pop-rock feel to them. The first track, "Why Are We Where We Are Now," has a unique bass line-the high point of many of the tracks with James Colman on bass- and is one of the songs where lead singer Adam Blair's vocal range comes through the most. But like most of What is this Beast, Blair's voice lacks some power. The song could be a summer anthem type track, but Blair's sound needs to show what he can do with his voice a little more- he's got some range, but the high notes sound they could be hurting a little. If he really threw his voice into the lyrics, it would give this song a lot more of a distinctive sound. If it pains you to sing that high, then don't do it instead of showing how hard it is.
But that's only the first track, and as said before, it gets better from there. Poison, environmental theme and all, is one of my favorites because the musicianship of the band comes through a little more. Not only is Blair's voice given some time to shine with only drummer Patrick Maguire's percussion behind it, but the guitar solo (not sure if it's blair or second guitarist Patrick Buie) shows the band took some time to get to know their instruments before putting this album together; they're not just some kids who decided to pick up their instruments for the first time and start a band on a whim.
"Best Friends," the final track of What is this Beast slows things down, leaving a lasting impression on the listener. Sometimes long intervals of "ahh ah ah ah" in a song can get annoying, but with this song leads you out of the CD to a comfortable stopping point. This album may not be particularly ground-breaking, but I'm convinced that Patter Stats has something new to bring to the SLC music scene and they're definitely worth giving a listen.