Release Date: Apr 1, 2014
Record label: Hometapes
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi
On August 20, 1972, as part of his invocation at the Wattstax festival, Jesse Jackson said, “Today on this program you will hear gospel and rhythm and blues and jazz. All those are just labels. We know that music is music…” It’s a quote that has been upheld within popular culture of decades past, most notably within the documentary Wattstax (1973) and by Primal Scream in Screamadelica single “Come Together” (1990).
Working from a place somewhere between raw emotion and meticulous construction, Philadelphia duo Pattern Is Movement deliver the ten songs that make up their dense, cerebral self-titled fourth album. Beginning in 2001 as a more angular, even mathy rock band, the duo of drummer Chris Ward and keyboardist/vocalist Andrew Thiboldeaux were originally joined by guitar-wielding bandmates, but around the time of 2008's All Together, the founding members stripped things down to just the two of them, drastically changing their sound in the process to a mesh of theatrical vocal harmonies, analog synth sounds, and dancey polyrhythmic drumming. Six years in the making, their self-titled follow-up continues along the same course, growing with some of the experience they gained during the numerous tours and performances that ensued between the last album and this one.
Pattern is Movement — Pattern is Movement (Hometapes)The self-titled record is typically gotten out of the way first, as it offers a succinct, efficient statement: This is who we are; this what we sound like. When it’s done later down the line in a band’s career, the eponymous record typically signals one of two things: full artistic assurance (see: The Velvet Underground; Heart), or creative bankruptcy (see: Wilco; Pearl Jam; Weezer’s Green Album). Pattern is Movement cut its teeth as a quintet with a heavy bent toward angular, guitar-heavy math-rock for the first seven years and two records of its existence, but by 2008’s All Together, the band had shrunk to just its founding duo: Two bearish, bearded Philly dudes named Andrew Thiboldeaux, who plays keys and sings, and Chris Ward, who plays drums.
In one of Disney’s finest moments, Pocahontas deliberates between two streams that lead from an estuary, having sung-along to a wild, rapid river ride to emphasise how totally spiritual she is. “Should I choose the smoothest course, steady as the beating drum? …Is all my dreaming at an end? Or do you still wait for me Dream Giver. .