Bagel Pat is a seventeen-year-old musician/multi-instrumentalist from Sacramento, California. His all-original first EP release Hello Today was recorded, mixed and mastered in his garage using, appropriately enough, GarageBand.
Pat plays all the instruments on the four tracks of Hello Today: vocals, guitars, bass,and drums. Given this instrumentation, and the recording venue, you’d expect, and get, garage-rock/indie-rock music. Lyrically, Pat tackles topics that are interesting to him. For instance, “Wallflower” considers a party from two different viewpoints; “Hawkeye’s Lament” is an ode to a favorite Marvel character (in which Bagel Pat unfortunately name-checks himself).
Clearly, Bagel Pat can play, and there are a number of musical highlights throughout Hello Today. His drumming is solid, and the high-register bass figures are spot-on. Guitar-wise, there is a terrific tripled guitar part in “Unsaid,” and a nice distorted counterpoint in “Hawkeye’s Lament.” Pat touches on a number of different feels, including surf-rock (“Wallflower”) and Clash-type punk (“Unsaid”). The start/stop feel in “Dreary Blue” works well. Guest player James Lopez’s sax solo (“Hawkeye’s Lament”) rocks.
The album falls a little flat, though, with the vocals and vocal melodies. Mix-wise, the vocals don’t cut through as they should. Similarly, the vocal lines generally don’t sparkle--they need a little more attention and development. On the plus side, the a cappella coda to “Hawkeye’s Lament” was a nice touch.
Hello Today is a good start. It takes real guts to write, record and release an album of your own music, and I applaud Pat for this. It’s a challenge doing everything in isolation, though: an artist can lose sight of the bigger picture. I’d like to hear him develop the vocal melodies further and intersperse more texture through differing guitar tones. This is where an outside producer/collaborator/extra set of ears can be very helpful. For future releases, I’d encourage Pat to find, and work with, a trusted friend who can help push his artistry to the next level. I look forward to that record.
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