Premiere: Pat Chow make a return with their first single in two years, It Gets Worse
It's the first taste of the Perth's group forthcoming new album, and they're kicking things off with nods to their earliest debut.
Anyone with a close connection to Perth's live music space would probably consider Pat Chow a long-time favourite of theirs, and as much as that may seem like an over-exaggeration of sorts, they've left an imprint on the city's music scene that would suggest otherwise. For much of the last decade, Pat Chow have become synonymous with the peaks of West Australia's music community; representative not just of the talent that bustles amongst Perth and beyond, but also how talent like Pat Chow elevate and amplify others, whether that's as a key supporter of newcoming acts or the band's members being spread across more side-projects than you could count.
Even despite sharing their latest record Overwhelming Care two years back, the trio have kept busy. They're a go-to on the live stage that has played everything from Perth institution In The Pines to the headline-grabbing Highway To Hell since their last record, and earlier this year they shared a collection of demos and b-sides from their last album's recording process, with Overwhelming Demos being a snapshot of what was left on the cutting room floor (a great snapshot at that, which says something about the strength of the original album).
Now, however, the trio eyes the release of a forthcoming third album, and today we're premiering the album's first taste - and also Pat Chow's first major work in the two years since Overwhelming Care - in the form of It Gets Worse. It Gets Worse is somewhat of a midway point for the group that takes sounds that feel vaguely reminiscent of their earliest work and brings them forward into the future, pairing them with songwriting that highlights the group's storytelling skillset at its most intimate and rich.
On the surface level, It Gets Worse descends into the hazy mania of grinding punk-meets-90s grunge-meets-whatever else; a storm of driving guitar and thick-coated percussion moving at an upbeat amongst the vocals of frontman Ben Protasiewicz, who really adds this pub-y, Australiana edge to the group's sound in a way that emphasises the multifacetedness. Insert a string of guitar solos and punchy choruses in there and you've got something that really feels like Pat Chow at their most anthemic and frenzied; an energetic explosion of the group at their best.
However, dive a little bit deeper, and you'll find that It Gets Worse goes beyond just distorted guitar cracks and fast-pacing vocals (although you can probably guess it from the title alone). Throughout It Gets Worse, Ben's vocal moves with this viciousness and frustration assumedly arise from the song's central themes, which as Ben explains, tackles his experiences with addiction. "It Gets Worse is something you would probably say at an AA meeting," he says. "I wrote it during a low point of alcoholism and was wanting for change. It's about vicious cycles and hard to break habits."
It's a brilliant moment for Pat Chow who years into their career seemingly keep hitting peaks, and with a new album on the way, we're stupidly excited to see what that brings. In the meantime, take a dive into It Gets Worse below as it premieres on Pilerats ahead of its full release on October 16th.
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