Very recently, I had the privilege (and pleasure!) of reviewing a kick-ass Patent Pending show in Bristol, aboard a boat, no less! Imagine my delight, then, when I returned home from an amazing tour to find their upcoming album, ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’, in my inbox! This cover album, as a whole, is simply stunning.
The Long Island lads undoubtedly start as they mean to go on, opening the album with a ‘Wasted/Wake Me Up’ mashup. In my mind, the two songs are simply poles apart. Paradoxically, Patent Pending marry them flawlessly. Moving both of songs from pop to punk gives their unification a very smooth sound, and avoids a jarring effect that many other mashups seem to trip up on. It’s vivaciously and infectiously bouncy, with some killer riffs and insane drumming: trademark Patent Pending. This is the perfect summer road trip anthem.
In hindsight, I think that the inclusion of meme culture within ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’ was probably an inevitability. However, what I could never have anticipated is how thoroughly swept away by it I am. I present to you, the mind-blowing Patent Pending cover of a Rick Astley classic, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. I have had the privilege of witnessing this performed live several times, so I can safely say that it’s a unique experience! For instance, the highlight of the London show on their most recent UK tour was when the whole crowd was coerced into mimicking Astley’s iconic dance moves. Honestly, it was an indescribably hilarious spectacle. They’ve rick-rolled us all with this one.
The jewel in the crown of ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’, for me, is ‘Mr Brightside’. Of all of the tracks featured on this wonderfully eclectic album, the rendition of Killers’ anthemic classic certainly gives the titanic originators a run for their money. In the past, bands that have had the balls to cover this have shot themselves in the foot, and have, to my mind, faded into mediocrity. This is not the case for Patent Pending. The cover is unequivocally ‘them’, and that can only mean you’re in for a real treat! Instrumentally, Patent Pending’s rendition is exponentially more upbeat, and undeniably more in-your-face. This is of a welcoming contrast to the lyrics of the song, which are obviously a little darker. The world is becoming a really dark place, so it’s more important than ever that we can just turn up the stereo and escape, if only for a little while – but I digress. The insatiably catchy music is coupled with Joe Ragosta’s unique, passionate vocals, and accompanied by some frankly insane gang vocals (I’m sure I can hear another Ragosta brother in there somewhere!). Bowling For Soup are often credited with producing the most popular rendition of ‘Stacy’s Mom’, the Fountains Of Wayne classic. When word gets out about this cover, rest assured, the same will be said about Patent Pending and ‘Mr Brightside’.
In short, despite the fact that ‘Other People’s Greatest Hits’ cannot be solely attributed to the wonderful Patent Pending guys, the musical genius in this album is definitely all theirs. Whilst an exceedingly small minority of songs fall into the karaoke trap (looking at you, ‘Spice Up Your Life’), even these are spectacularly done. I am extremely excited to convert my die-hard pop friends with Patent Pending’s ingenious homage to our not-so-guilty pleasures.
Review: Amy Jefferies