Patterns – Waking Lines
From the opening echoes of This Haze onwards, Waking Lines sounds impressively lush and layered – not bad when you consider Patterns eschewed studio time to record it themselves at home. As well as demonstrating their sonic resourcefulness and nuanced grasp of dream-pop dynamics – all swirling vocals, twinkling guitars, atmospheric samples and so forth – the Manchester quartet’s debut evidences clear songwriting talents, with an anthemic edge giving definition to tracks like Blood.
But if ‘pattern’ is another way of saying ‘repeated decoration,' then the Manchester quartet live up to their name a little too well. With a relatively narrow selection of tricks at their disposal, a sense of déjà vu enters somewhere in the second half – a hazy sameness that initially augments the pretty, diaphanous dreaminess, but which over repeated listens diminishes the album’s magnetism. Not quite scaling the heavens then, but for a first stab they’ve come admirably close. [Chris Buckle]