Royal Pines' raucous new album, Three Sheets, finds Joe Patt leading his band through the wreckage of a savage bender. Strewn about their feet are hit lists, body parts, and teetering piles of psychic trauma. Yet the Pines march forward undaunted: a gig at the afterparty promises even more fun. It's familiar territory for Patt. In the early 1990s, he was the drumming half of The Hairy Patt Band, the ferocious Cincinnati/Columbus noise-blues duo that turned more than a few heads during shows with the likes of The Laugh- ing Hyenas, Cows, Ed Hall and Jesus Lizard. His demented pounding and singing was captured on a single by In The Red Records, among other releases. After the demise of HPB, Patt once again found himself behind the drums (and mic) with Columbus's Them Wranch. A unique combination of RnB influenced songwriting and searing live shows made the band a top act in the city's burgeoning music scene. While the end of Wranch also signaled the end of Patt's time in Ohio, a stint on drums with England's avant-garage Country Teasers on their 2002 US tour kept him in the front ranks of premium noisemakers. His steady wallop can be heard on a live record for In The Red that features choice renditions of Ben Waller's classics such as 'Prettiest Slave on The Barge' and an unforgettable take on New Order's 'Blue Monday." Patt relocated to Chicago in 2002 to be with his soon-to-be wife and business partner. While occasional drumming gigs with instrumental soulsters The Night Callers brought him to a few local stages, the wild rocking of his Ohio youth seemed to be a closed chapter. Best laid plans, etc. In the summer of 2005, a fellow Columbus transplant needed a band to play an unpromising mid-week gig on one of the city's shittier stages. Electing to take on rhythm section duties with another friend, he proposed that Patt perform as a frontman and guitarist. Eight years and three albums later, Royal Pines have thrived on it's leader's unique songwriting voice. Critics from The Big Takeover to The Chicago Reader praised their raw, rootsy sound, but also detected something much darker and more intense just below the surface "There is a quiet storm here," wrote a Takeover reviewer of the first album. With Three Sheets, all hell breaks loose. Embracing the power of their live sets, the group instills unsettling energy into Patt's songs of debauchery and decay, all delivered with keenly observed black humor. The musical roots of the Pines have always sprawled beyond country pastures; here we see them nourished by the wild swampland that spawned the likes of The Birthday Party, as well as the sun fried desert of The Meat Puppet's psychedelic punk. The opening track, "What The Hell Happened Last Night," ponders evidence of an open air bacchanal that must have been a blast to survive: "And whose teeth are on the ground?" Despite the disturbing aftermath, it's slashing boogie will give you second thoughts about not RSVPing. From the jagged thrash of "Who Ya' Want Me Ta Kill" to the con-templative, half Hüsker/half Lightfoot shanty, "Thank You Ocean" Three Sheets charts a harrowing trip back from self-obliteration with dark and explosive rock'n'roll. Not everyone returns in one piece.
What the Hell Happened Here Last Night?
See That Wall
Who Ya' Want Me Ta Kill?
My Eyes Have Let Me Down
Throw It On the Ground
My Garden Is Dying
Ocean Sets Me Right
Playing Fetch With Rats
Less Expensive Daemon
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