This is Maps & Atlases’ first LP after debuting a slew of EP’s. Perch Patchwork was released in June of 2010 on Barsuk.
I just have one word for you. Just one word. No, it’s not “plastics”. It’s “percussion”. That’s right percussion. If you like it. This one’s for you. If you need proof then look no further than track 2 entitled “The Charm”. When played live, during it’s climax both the bassist and lead guitar switch to drums while the lead singer, at the top of his lungs, belts out “and after all, you felt so small in his arms, you felt so small under the charm that warmed your heart.” Shit stands the hair up on my arms every fucking time. The majority of the album generally follows suit. Syncopated rhythms, and blistering fills. Chris Hainey reminds me of Keith Moon. Nobody reminds me of Keith Moon, but Chris Hainey reminds me of Keith Moon. That’s how cool the percussion on this album is. However, percussion alone does not a good album make. It’s just what grabbed me by the throat first and it’s the element of the album that keeps my attention most. Hats off to the rest of the crew and the array of instruments used on this album. Not to mention the unique vocals from a unique, Grizzly Adams looking son of a bitch named Dave Davison. The album really is a solid effort overall.
The best parts of this one are the 1st half and the final tracks. Patchwork starts off with a delightful acoustic track called “WIll”. It serves as sort of a prelude, just as both “Is” and “Was” serve as centerpiece and postlude respectably. All of this leads up to the title track which is my favorite of the bunch. “We can leave this place, no one lives here anymore.” haunting lament pouring from the heart of Davison which I find emotionally devastating, which I find musically genius. The 3rd quarter of the disc seems to die out a bit. Songs like “Banished Be Cavalier” and “Pigeon” are too playful to fit in with the rest of the album. They would be much more suitable in a different context. As it is they take away from the soul stirring remainder of the set. Perch Patchwork‘s enjoyability has already bought me a copy of M & A’s next album. I look forward to that.