Break of Dawn
Break of Dawn is available at:
July 8th, 2016
Classic-Rock; Alternative; Soul; Retro.-Electro.
I have explained how contrast and contradictions…
make music the majestic drug it is. Not long have I put the pen- metaphorically-speaking, of course- I pick it back up: ready and inked. From L.A.’s DreamVacation- an Indie-cum-Alternative act- to a London duo that does things very differently. Before I introduce you to the chaps; their music has compelled me to look at Classic-Rock and older acts; London duos and their prominence; making new starts and making first impressions. When I am faced with a new act- who is making their way through the world- I can always pick up influences and idols. If I come across a Rock band- which is the case today- there are the same musicians that come to mind. I have mentioned the likes of Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age regularly- a lot of young bands try to replicate these acts- but to my mind, so many different styles of music are being overlooked. If you are a Rock band, let’s say, you do not need to be confined to ‘70s legends and ‘90s-‘00s gods. I have always been a fan of Classic-Rock: not too many new artists look to this genre. You cannot really call Foo Fighters Classic-Rock by virtue of their age and style.
My featured duo are fans of Led Zeppelin but look to the bombast and theatrics of Queen. Two people who have a fond affection for the stadium-filling, blasting-out-of-your-stereo anthems: as opposed to the tighter, newer acts. It is rare to find a band/duo that count Queen as their influence. Maybe (the band) has always had a bit of a jokey persona: easy to love Freddie Mercury; harder to love the songs themselves. Whilst Queen created some obvious wonders- Bohemian Rhapsody and The Show Must Go On– their back catalogue is a mixed bag. Every song is given credibility and drama because of Mercury’s octave-straddling voice: able to transform the most camp and ridiculous number into a religious experience. Led Zeppelin inspires a lot of young bands: albums like Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin IV– few take from their debut album or Physical Graffiti; when they were at their most emphatic and all-conquering. I think that is a problem with the younger generation: they are too narrow and unadventurous; unaware that artists and genres exist- perhaps not seeing them cool or credible. Before I carry on my point; let me introduce Saints Patience to you:
“Essentially the project of two London-based musicians, multi-instrumentalist Spencer and vocalist Mudibu, Saints Patience place melody and groove front and centre in a thrilling audio format that mixes the classic and the contemporary by following the lead of such timeless artists as Queen, Otis Redding, Led Zeppelin and The Wailers. Their songs are cohesive amalgamations of Spencer’s prolific guitar jams and improv sessions in his home studio, which Mudibu, formerly of Mantilla, Lostchild and The Jezebel Sextet, enhances via his rich and powerful voice. This intuitive pair – “You know it’s good when you just look at each other and smile” – have now collected the best of their writings into a vibrant full-length album (to be released later in 2016), recorded using minimal gear at Spencer’s studio and thus exuding a fresh and dynamic analogue vibe. All this as Saints Patience are recruiting additional band members to perform the artisanal instrumental parts in a live setting and take this charismatic show on the road. As Mudibu says of the process, “When everything comes together, I know it and feel it running through me.” Rest assured that everything is definitely coming together for Saints Patience, and it is coming together apace. Consider ‘Break Of Dawn’ your introduction’.
Spencer and Mudibu- too cool for surnames- are the twin force that makes Saints Patience such an alluring act. Not only do they source their sound from the annals of Classic-Rock: they have affection for Soul and the legends that defined the genre. Mudibu is especially fond of the likes of Otis Redding and The Wailers: you can hear that empathic power and prowess in his voice; a combination of Redding and Mercury; bits of Reggae and Funk thrown into the blender. Spencer’s multi-instrumental talents take in Retro.-Electro. and Pop; a perfect counterpart and backdrop for Mudibu’s golden vocals. Saints Patience are based out of London: a city that is seeing a range of duos emerge. I can think of nowhere else in the U.K. that has so many (and varied) duos- Brighton have a few; not on the same scale. I have reviewed a few- from Rews and Gypsyfingers to Them&Us- and am amazed by what talent is on display. Once upon a time- not too long ago- duos were something or a rarity. In the ‘80s and ‘90s there were a few prominent examples: that seemed to slow and dissipate going into the 21st century. After the glory of the ‘90s- and the exceptional bands that defined the decade- duos were a bit of an endangered experience. I am not sure what is being the rebirth and resurgence- close-knit friendships and a more streamlined approach- but I am glad it is occurring. Most of my reviews look at artists that are established or have a few songs under their belt- making Saints Patience a bit of an oddity. The boys have been playing for a while: Break of Dawn is, in effect, their introductory release. As a result, their Facebook and Twitter pages are quite bare and fledgling- hence the reason the same photos will reappear throughout this piece.
Their follower numbers are limited: that is all going to change before too long. It is a daunting proposition coming fresh onto the market: having to recruit followers and get the music out there. With a great P.R. team behind them- the guys at Lost in the Manor– their lead single is getting a lot of exposure, reviews, and plaudit. It will not be long before (the song) gets serious radio-play and airing. I am their 7th follower on Twitter- that number is going to climb very soon- and their Facebook page mainly consist reviews and the odd photo. Were the guys based in a town or outside a major city, I would be a bit worried for them. I have heard multiple horror stories of artists that struggle to gain attention in towns and villages: there is not a live music scene or media outlets to help their careers. That is why London is becoming packed and appealing: there are so many different venues and musicians; plenty of P.R. agencies to help get the music out there. With that lure and captivation comes the flip side: everyone has the same idea; overcrowding leads to competiveness and increased anxiety. I feel London is big and clever enough to recognise true talent. Saints Patience are distinct and agile in their approach. They take common- if under-represented in 2016- genres and acts: mixing them together and creating something extraordinary. With such an impressive singer- who is soulful and explosive- and a can-play-anything musician: a compacted and unbreakable duo that have many years before them.
Saints Patience are a new act: it makes it hard to chart a progressing and compare their new work (with older sounds). Give their list of influences- from Queen and Led Zeppelin to Otis Redding- if you are a fan of any of these acts- I would recommend you get involved with the London duo. Defined by Mudibu’s empathic and epic vocals; Spencer’s extraordinary musical innovations: it goes into one of this year’s most immediate and remarkable singles. If you do not believe me- or think it is hyperbole- the opening seconds of Break of Dawn dispel reluctance. Skipping, bouncing strings put you in mind of Beggars Banquet-era The Rolling Stone. Funky, twanging and hypnotising- you find yourself tapping feet and sucked into the rhythm and catchiness. The introduction sounds like it could belong to The Kinks or Led Zeppelin- in addition to The Rolling Stones- and possesses that ‘60s/’70s ethos. A hip-swaying groove that will get every listener on board- the percussion comes in and adds to that swagger and confidence. A driving, Hard-Rock/Classic-Rock bombast: few duos have such a confidence this early on. The chugging, locomotive-like momentum of the introduction grows and builds in stature. Electronic notes are put into the background: augmenting the foreground and injecting colour and zest into the high-proof alcoholic ramble. Whilst I could happily listen to the introduction extended into a four-minute exercise: Saints Patience are keen to deliver their message to us. Our hero steps to the microphone and demonstrates an instant authority and determination. There are no nerves and mis-steps in the vocal: it is delivered with such verve, clarity, and passion. Feeling low at times; like there’s “nothing to lose”: there is that desire to go for broke and follow dreams. Even after the initial words; you get the sense of a young man that wants things to change. Maybe stuck in a place he does not feel happy; in a rut or boring routine- there is that desire to break free and becomes someone different. Whatever you believe is what you become: a quasi-philosophical statement that is the song’s mission statement and tagline. If you want to escape and change your life: embrace a better life then you can do that. Overriding synths. and arena-ready percussion kicks Mudibu’s voice: Spencer makes every second dramatic and romantic; completely dizzying and delirious.
The duo implores dawn-set dancing: the chorus is a foot-stomping, call-to-arms: an insatiable, rabbel-rousing deceleration that is impossible to refute. Musicians that can lick a good chorus are pretty much set for life: the modern consumer wants something simple and easy; words they can chant and be involved with. Break of Dawn repeats its thoughts and lines: with every revocation; the immediacy and potency increases; the sweat levels rise and the smiles broaden. Propelled by a Classic-Rock jam of the highest order: how many radio stations could you hear playing this song throughout the summer months? With the temperature rising- it is positively spring-like in London- Break of Dawn matches the mood: it is an elliptical, embrace-your-fellow-man swing that boasts a very impressive message. It might seem like a simple concept: if you want something/want to change life for the better; go out and do it. Songs have explored this issue in the past: very few modern artists present something as overtly positive and humanitarian. Music is so caught up in negativity and insularity- people talk about their hurt hearts and own self- it is wonderful seeing an act that puts the focus on everyone else. An altruistic and thoughtful approach to songwriting will always yield interest and fascination. We should dance until the sun rises; the truth is in our eyes: snapshot inspirational messages that are obvious and decipherable to all. Mudibu lets his voice fly and reign free. You get embers of Steve Perry and Robert Plant in his regal bellow: a vocal that can topple buildings and cool the sun. With such power comes great responsibility: this is utilised to deliver something proud, profound and uplifting. Never do you get a sense of one man’s agenda being pushed onto the listener. So many contemporary songs have that selfishness and need to buy into someone’s pain- without considering whether the listener is interested or not.
Saints Patience have such a dogmatic approach: undeniable truths that are being laid down with so much gusto. One part of me always hooks around Mudibu’s voice. It has such flair, personality, and legacy: a unique singer that subtlety blends legends into his voice. Spencer gives the song its kick and authority: that un-distilled Hard-Rock sizzles that never abates. Riding that sticks-in-the-brain-until-you-die chorus effusively: they ensure it gets into your mind and gets you singing along with ease. By the second spin of the song, you are on board and ready for what is to come. A lot of songs need time to reveal themselves; nuanced to the extreme. Break of Dawn is instant and straightforward: every listen will see the song register dancing and smiling; that effect never wanes or fades. When Mudibu steps aside from the microphone (a few second that allow the composition to come in) Spencer grabs the gauntlet and steps into the light. Those syntheised notes wash over the song and bathe it in a tropical, orange blossom scent. In an odd way, the duo mix flavours, smells, and ingredients together- trying not to step too far into pretentious territory. The guitars and percussion add something shot-like an intense: a vodka-cum-whiskey hybrid that gets to the head and evokes instant results. The electronics are more tender and mellifluous. You get impressions of cosmopolitanism and London vibes: the sounds and scents of the street; the shop ways and parks; the boutiques and restaurants. The vocal has chocolate flavours and husky overtones- spicy and intense at once; soothing and sumptuous the next (okay, I’ll stop now!). Just before the three-minute marker: that Kinks-like kick (You Really Got Me, perhaps?) shifts up a gear and gets the body rocking.
After a brilliant and evocative middle 8: we are back into overdrive; helpless to deny that leather jacket-clad swaggering hero. Spencer’s guitar work is exemplary and natural- you can hear the hours of work he puts into the instrument; how easily he can craft these meaty riffs. The percussion work is equally imperious and domineering; little shades of Dave Grohl come through. Mudibu never lets (that glorious, powerhouse) voice drop for a second. When layered and multi-tracked it sounds like an evangelical choir: an army determined to get the gospel delivered. The final seconds enforce the qualities of both performers: the chorus is cycled; it shows different sides every time around- such is its simple charm and command (in fact, by the final seconds I heard riff comparisons to Beat It). London is at the vanguard of the duo revolution: no other city in the world is producing so many original and special twosomes. L.A. is pretty close behind, but to my mind, they are leading us in the band market- I have spent long enough reviewing acts there to know that. That parentage of Classic-Rock and of-the-minute Retro.-Electro. makes Break of Dawn such a smash. If the indelible, gut-punch riff does not get to you: the delirious, swelling chorus surely will. I have heard few young acts make such an instant mark. I know the boys of Saints Patience have experience and performed for years: they sound completely right and natural in each other’s company. Mudibu’s mountainous voice makes every word compelling and stand-out. He is such a commanding performer and imbues essences of Soul and Classic-Rock greats. Spencer supplies the beats, licks, and electronics: an exceptional musician that gives the song contour, drama, and memorability. Backed by exceptional production- it is polished but raw enough to make it live-sounding- the future is very promising for Saints Patience.
I have gone into depth about Saints Patience and their defining qualities. The boys are recruiting musicians as they go along. A full-length album is due soon. They will use their artisanal instruments and sparse setting- Spencer’s home studio is minimal and has an analog charm- to create something raw, bare and stunning. Too many acts are keen to jump into the studio and polish their tracks. Many are negating the importance and effectiveness of stripping things back and recording something with more openness, honesty, and directness. Break of Dawn gets into the heart because it’s free from tinsel and gleam: it is a track that brings to mind ‘70s Soul greats and their sound. This D.I.Y. approach to music is going to become more prominent in the future. Music-making is becoming more expensive and less accessible. Studio costs are pricing musicians out: they have to revert to their own means; find cheaper ways to make music. Whilst this will frighten many new acts: it is not such a bad thing. As Saints Patience have demonstrated: you can mould a beautiful and direct track with the least amount of input, fuss and expenditure. Spencer’s home studio-based experimentations fuse with Mudibu’s experience (having appeared in Mantilla, Lostchild and The Jezebel Sextet). Both have cut their teeth in different ways- together, they seem like the perfect partnership. It will be wonderful seeing an L.P. from these guys. If we get anything half as good (as) Break of Dawn: it is likely to be one of 2016’s most essential and elementary albums. You can feel the chemistry and brotherhood: the guys have an understanding and affection that bleeds into their music; drives their messages to the forefront.
There are a lot of London-based duos being discovered: few promote such positive messages in the music. Maybe it is Mudibu’s love of Soul and his background- I find musicians with an African background favour songs that proffer hope and dream fulfillment- or natural personality that makes the music so personable and inspiring. Whatever the explanation behind the explosion: I would love to see the guys live; bringing their music to the London stage. Right now, they have caught the ear of some of the U.K.’s most prominent blogs and reviewers (not including myself in that). Break of Dawn is a pretty unbeatable debut release- I’m sure the duo will find a way to do it. I opened by looking at Classic-Rock and its undervalued status in today’s climate. A lot of acts nod to the days of Queen and Led Zeppelin: they are not keeping the flame burning as brightly as they should. The same goes for Soul, to an extent. Non-Soul singers/bands do not often look to the likes of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke; bring some Reggae vibes to the fold. Saints Patience have so much colour and culture in the music. Break of Dawn unites various genres, decades, and singers. The planet-hopping belt of Mercury and Redding have inspired Mudibu; so too have The Wailers and bands like Led Zeppelin. A powerful, mind-melting vocalist that has got the media melted and seduced. Spencer’s musical abilities are not to be overlooked. Whether it is Keith Richard-esque chopped guitars; modern, arms-in-the-air synthesisers and electronics. The guys are making music that could fill arenas. Break of Dawn has fists-aloft rouse and singalong potential: a song that implores crowds to get together and lose themselves. That said, the duo feel comfortable and assured in a more intimate and less daunting environment- the comfort and safety of a home studio. I am not sure which area of London they reside in; they make music that speaks to all areas of the capital. The funky, youthful trendiness of East London- you have plenty of Electro.-Synth.-cum-Pop strands to get Hoxton bars and Shoreditch streets bouncing.
The rich and fashionable Chelsea/Knightsbridge clans- around the south-west- will find much to love. Grittier, hard-edged riffs will speak to the boys and girls in North London estates; across the south of London. In truth, there is universality (in Break of Dawn) that will unify all ages and areas. Not just confined to Britain in their appeal: the guys are ready-made for the U.S. – from L.A.’s vibrant, polemic geography to New York’s characteristic and distinct boroughs- and other areas. There is no stopping Saints Patience when they set their mind to things: when their L.P. is released; their touring schedule will swell; they will be inundated with social media followers and review requests. I am not sure how the next few months are shaping up- what gigs they have lined and if they are recording- but I’m sure they will be very busy indeed. I love the quality and consistency of duos emerging in Britain right now. Maybe London has the best of them- there are plenty in other parts of the U.K. – but they cater to all tastes and preferences. Saints Patience are one of the most scintillating and promising of them all. Whilst too many duos lean towards electronic sounds- it seems the most vogue form of partnership- here we get something with more body, depth, and originality. Being a fan of Classic-Rock: it is nice to see it given a modern take; blending inside sumptuous Soul and vivacious Electronica. Make sure you investigate these guys and follow them- help spread the word. All great musicians deserve support; it is vital we keep their careers alive and well. Break of Dawn is a track that wets the appetites and nods to the future: who knows just how good their album will be?! Judging by their debut single…
IT could be one of this year’s finest albums.
Follow Saints Patience