When was the last time you really got down and shook your moneymaker to a great rock ‘n’ roll record? If it’s been a while, then put your dancing shoes on your feet and The Pattern’s Real Feelness on your stereo, because it’s time to cut a rug. Expectations are high for this Oakland, CA quintet’s full-length debut, and they live up to the hype. The Pattern is an indie rock supergroup – lead singer Chris Appelgren is president of Lookout! Records and the former frontman of indie darlings The Pee Chees, while guitarist/chief songwriter Jason Rosenberg was formerly associated with blazing post-punkers St. James Infirmary. The collision of Rosenberg’s blazing riffs and Appelgren’s cool-as-a-cocktail lyrics on Real Feelness results in raw, danceable boogie-punk with a snotty, rock attitude.
Enough credit can’t be given to Rosenberg’s songwriting contribution to The Pattern, but the highlights of Real Feelness are definitely Appelgren’s lyrics and vocals. The album’s sole misstep is “Rangefinder,” an acoustic song that feels unnecessarily tacked on at the end to prove that Appelgren can sing normally when he chooses to. But the album’s other 11 tracks, most notably “Fragile Awareness,” “Nothing of Value,” and “She’s a Libra,” will remind you of all the reasons why you fell in love with rock ‘n’ roll in the first place. So, if you’re sick of hearing the Strokes, the White Stripes, the Hives, and the Vines mentioned in the same sentence every two minutes, then start talking about (and rocking out to) The Pattern, dammit!
[AC Scordelis is sick of being mentioned in the same sentence as the cute girl he didn’t flirt with.]