The Young Widows – Settle Down City
Release Date: September 12, 2006
Label: Jade Tree
The Patterson brothers are some music-makin’ mofos. They’ve had success together in bands like The National Acrobat and Black Cross and to this point have flourished apart in Coliseum (Ryan) and Breather Resist (Evan) respectively. For better or worse though, Evan has always been the less recognizable of the two Pattersons. It would seem everyone in the city of Louisville can do their own Ryan Patterson impression. Further, local wildlife have been known to seek shelter in the elder’s facial hair. Though quite successful up to this point, Settle Down City is Evan’s chance to step out of big brother’s substantial shadow.
Young Widows rose from the ashes of the younger Patterson’s old band, Breather Resist. While the lineup is nearly identical to that band (only Steve Sindoni is missing), you’d be underestimating Young Widows by labeling them Breather Resist 2.0. Don’t even think about shouting out a request for anything from that band’s catalog at Young Widows show, they won’t play it. Nor would it sound quite right, even if they did.
Settle Down City is the most artistic work to come from a member of the Patterson family in quite some time. To his credit, Evan has never been one for angry downstroking and shredding at the speed of light. Always imaginative, he’s not just some burly dude with a six-string in his hands. Truth be told, The Young Widows owe more to the work Patterson did in The National Acrobat than his time in Breather Resist. TNA took their cue from noise rock acts like The Jesus Lizard and Drive Like Jehu, Settle Down City falls along that same line of influence. Not coincidentally, “Glad He Ate Her” sounds strikingly similar to the Jesus Lizard’s “Gladiator”.
One caveat, Patterson’s shout is in no way similar to Sindoni’s bark. Evan’s pipes keep pace with the discordant cacophony in the background and don't create the same kind of turmoil Sindoni did with Breather Resist. Not that that was ever Evan's aim. More over, Patterson’s vox echo throughout the album. Likely turning off listeners who favor a more polished vocal effect. Those familiar with the members’ previous work know however, not to expect anything but “raw” when it comes to recording quality. After all, Louisville essentially built its musical philosophy from the DC model.
All in all, Settle Down City succeeds in one thing above all else. It's different enough. Even big brother would have to give it that.
Bringin’ Da Noise, Bringin’ Da Punk: “Glad He Ate Her”, “The Charmers”
Under the influence: The Jesus Lizard, Refused, Gang of Four