Side-projects usually only appeal to fans of the band that the musicians are from originally, but in this case Heavens have created an album that while appealing to Alkaline Trio and F-Minus fans, will also win them 'new' fans that haven't heard of either band before. Patent Pending has a 'dance' feel to it. That's not to say that it is full of heavy basslines, techno drumbeats and synth melodies. It is more laid back than that.
Another thing about this album that may put people off it is the fact that it is a concept album. Although it is not clear at a first listen. You have to think about it, but the album tells the story of a town going to ruin and people leaving.
while being one of the 'faster' and more upbeat (it's not) songs on the album sounds like an Alkaline Trio song being stripped down and turned down a few decibels. In fact, this can be said for most songs on the album as the lyrics to each song is clearly written by Skiba with dark, and often violent lyrics. The title track is likely to get feet tapping due to its strong drumbeat and with its infectious chorus could potentially be a radio hit.
At the mid-point there is an instrumental Doves
that goes completely unnoticed when the album is listened to without glancing at the tracklist or track counter on the CD Player. The second half of the album is very similar to the first with the same type of stripped down, gloomy and hit-or-miss songs. One song that definitely hits is True Hate
. The intro is a bassline-melody trade-off that instantly stands out from other songs on the album. The drums build up with rim shots through the first verse and chorus and then come in louder after the first chorus. As the song develops it is clear that it is one of the best and catchiest on the album with its simple "Too much, too late. True love, true hate"
line. The final chapter in this story of destruction and decay is Leave
. It is similar to most songs on the album but is one of the better ones. It has a long but memorable chorus and good use of strings.
At the end of the album (and story) it is clear that this is an album to sing you to sleep and won't be enjoyed as much at other times of day. Patent Pending is ultimately good album but could be a tedious listen for some.