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Patience Please: Parallel Plots [Album Review]

I’ve been looking forward to hearing more from Patience Please and when I heard that their latest EP, Parallel Plots, was stocked at local record stores in Seattle, I couldn’t resist running out to pick them up. I was so early, in fact, that the stores had yet to put them onto the shelves.

Ray Proudfoot fronts the group with emotive yet educated gravely vocals and punchy guitar while Keenan Dowers, the sole female, provides the group with organ and backup vocals. Rounding out the band are Jordan Michelman on bass (also the key lyricist in the group) and Jigsaw Records‘ Chris McFarlane (Chris Mac) on percussion.

Already familiar with and a fan of “The Velveteen Rabbit” and “Little Mouthfuls”, the new tracks were instantly pleasing too.

The EP begins with “Cynics & Critics”, a lovely song filled with the group’s signature organ and poppy guitar hooks. Keenan Dowers steps up behind Proudfoot with much stronger backup-vocals in “Little Mouthfuls”, undoubtedly adding to the track.

Patience Please write very mature songs for Parallel Plots being a mere debut. The contrast between the loud and the soft is outstanding, and it is most apparent in these final two songs, “Too Forthright” and “Unpublished”.

The former has a soft beginning that picks up as the song progresses. At around the two-thirds mark, the instruments drop out for a capella vocals before returning toward the end. “Unpublished” begins with a pop guitar jangle and hand claps.

In a debut, it can be difficult to pull together a track list of powerful songs. Patience Please seems to have succeeded effortlessly.

Not since Voxtrot’s Raised By Wolves EP have I heard such a powerful debut.

In fact, Parallel Plots may be more so. Their sound remains consistent as does their songwriting—something that’s rare not only in debuts but throughout careers. Thus, Patience Please has talent that should not go unnoticed.

This review was originally published September 20, 2006 on the old version of FensePost. On August 1, IndiePage sadly went on hiatus after more than nine years in existence. An impressive tenure FensePost can only hope to reach as time progresses.

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