None of the arty, minimalist pretensions of the much-hated ’07 dispatch Future Artists (which an anonymous colleague memorably knocked for its “goofy avant vibes,” and which, for the record, your reporter rather dug). Something similar, in the galvanizing, slowly unwinding, 16-minute opener “Empire,” to the band’s previous awesomely failed attempts at just rocking out. But that’s something that’s dropped in time for the throttling (we’re talking “Bombs Over Baghdad” throttling) “Shaft” (the title makes me giggle – sorry) and the slow, melancholy hiss of “South.” And with that, Patience is over. It lasts all of 38 minutes. Even if you’re not getting off on it, very little patience is required.
The aforementioned unnamed colleague commented, also, thusly: “I find no reason why this record should exist.” OK. It’s not the easiest thing to defend a band that’s been around for decades, influencing dozens of brilliant youngsters, now just doing its job. But I’ve seriously enjoyed listening to this. Most rock bands are founded on a sense of romanticized rebellion that’s going to yield severely diminishing returns. The Dead C was founded on a fierce, cynical, hard-to-figure intelligence that made its members pariahs in their poppy homeland, and has only grown sharper with age. Patience is nothing exactly new, but it’s as smart and savvy as ever, smarter and more savvy than Harsh ’70s Reality or any of that. The warped power chords in “Empire” cut as deep as anything The Dead C has done, and the sizzurp negative-psychedelia of “South” may as well be the band’s definitive statement. Genius gets old and dies, but misanthropy never mellows with age.
P.S.: Either it’s entirely instrumental or the vocals didn’t register with me at all.