Roy Rodgers is a duo whose music is not some ‘contrived garage crap’. It is a compounding of life and beliefs that deserve your ears as an audience.
In a small desert town in southern California, it was 2007.
This was no ordinary desert, though — it was the Mojave — with highs of 120°F+ and lows under 0°F. The music being created was not ordinary either. Of course, over 5 years in their garage, the usual influx of discontentment, drugs, and other teenage mischief was not absent.
Meet Patrick Latham and Ryan Poush.
Do they look like they give a shit? Well, they do.
Just down Route 66 from where this duo lived was the final resting place of Roy Rogers.
Patrick and Ryan have even called themselves the ‘King of Cowboys’ before.
As time went on, the duo’s sound marinating in their metal, desert prison of a garage, Patrick was uprooted from the desert. In the wake of a series of life crises, he moved to Seattle. Just 2 years later, Ryan would follow.
Almost immediately, they finished a 5-track EP — 99 – Never. Soon, they were playing house shows and different events together, immersing themselves in the Seattle music community. Through their active involvement, the two came in touch with Big Building, playing at the 3rd annual BIG BLDG BASH.
The festival curators become instant fans, soon pitching Patrick and Ryan the chance of releasing through a non-profit record label. Crowdfunding and time spent at The Unknown Studio in Anacortes, WA, ultimately led to If You Can’t Feel The Markers Then You Better Believe.
As they put it:
“Our project was firmly grounded in the belief that this doesn’t have to sound like anything other than what it already feels like. In approaching the songwriting, the unconscious and its subject matter play a key role in both the lyrical content and musical style of our band.
It’s not a celestial concept, per se, but rather a narrowing down of content from everyday life. Funneling it into concentrated doses of melody and short stories.”
Remaining the core members of the project, Patrick and Ryan have recruited new band members into their live ensemble.
If You Can’t Feel The Markers Then You Better Believe
Intentionality is attractive, even site unheard.
Creating music for its own sake, rather than for commercial reasons, is why good and great music exist at all.
“Phosphorescent 3” is a hook in itself. There is little lag between the song’s beginning and the immediate draw into a creation you don’t even have a personal stake in. Should that not already be a signal of the forces at work here?
“Acid Reflux” returns to the duo’s melodic strengths. At least 3 to 4 distinct songs live in the framework of this track. You could isolate the 2 segments of the first minute — in equal, 30 second sections, listen to them independently of one another, and know none the better.
“Climax” creates a minimalist experimental soundscape, perhaps capturing the best elements of M83. If you listened blindly, would you not first guess that acclaimed electronic group, and not Roy Rodgers? Talk about talent. This is why they deserve your ears as an audience.
“Sweetness” is something different altogether. It’s symphonic in structure — big, loud, noisy — omnipresent. You’re put into the passenger seat here, as Patrick and Ryan take your hand and control every step you take. In this creation, there isn’t even enough room for your mind to wander off in.
I found everything right and nothing wrong with what Roy Rodgers has to offer. 5/5.
Right now, you can find 99 – Never available on Roy Rodgers’ Bandcamp page. As of Saturday, March 11th, you will be able to find If You Can’t Feel The Markers Then You Better Believe as well. Keep up with the group as they grow on Facebook.