Heavens - Patent Pending (Cover Artwork)


Heavens: Patent PendingPatent Pending (2006)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: Ben_ConoleyBen_Conoley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Singers must harness occasional envy towards their bandmates. If Joe Bass Player ever wants to join a side project, there's no worry that people are going to say, "Whatever, it just sounds like a shitty version of his main band." Such accusations of Matt Skiba's new project are going to be a problem.
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Singers must harness occasional envy towards their bandmates. If Joe Bass Player ever wants to join a side project, there's no worry that people are going to say, "Whatever, it just sounds like a shitty version of his main band." Such accusations of Matt Skiba's new project are going to be a problem for the Alkaline Trio frontman, even though his vocals are going to bring with them a built-in fanbase. With Heavens, Skiba and F-Minus alumnus Josiah Steinbrick manage to avoid creating a straight-up electronic version of Alkaline Trio -- but just barely.

The real saving-grace with Patent Pending is Steinbrick's music, which he had begun writing before Skiba became involved with the project. Although the music is entirely electronic and very `80s-inspired, it produces a really genuine sound and comes off as surprisingly organic. There's a complexity in most of the compositions that comes through the use of a number of layers and effects that don't rely too heavily on the `80s influence.

It's too bad the same can't be said of Skiba and his delivery. On their own, the vocals sound like nothing more than an extension of those found on the Trio's latest album, Crimson, which weren't terrible then, but backed with Steinbrick's composures they seem hollow and often-times forced. Perhaps the main reason why Heavens doesn't sound too much like Alkaline Trio shouldn't be attributed to Steinbrick, but to Skiba. His voice often lacks the energy and bite that brought me into his music in the first place. Still, his lyrical focus remains largely dark and brooding, providing some sense of consistency to his other work.

There's no question that huge Alkaline Trio fans, especially those who feel as though their last album was the band's best work, are going to love Heavens. It's the fans that got excited about the band's last tour as a chance to finally seem some older material revisited that are going to feel like Heavens is nothing more than a collection of songs that wouldn't even make the cut for Crimson. I'm the dude that sits around complaining that Alkaline Trio hasn't made a great album in the last five years, so if you disagree with me on that, you might very well disagree with me on this.


People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Alkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAlkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireAlkaline Trio - Remains [CD/DVD]NOFX - The DeclineWeezer - PinkertonA Wilhelm Scream - RuinerThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former Clarity

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
gdmeeshell (March 16, 2013)

I can and will never get enough of this album. NEVER NEVER NEVER.

Valentin_Selezynov (July 8, 2008)

This is one of my favourite albums of all time. The first two tracks aren't too inspiring, but as soon as Heather kicks in, it's golden.

xxjohnnyrocketxx (December 29, 2006)

its an ok album. a bit overhyped. I only like 3 songs on it, and the rest is so-so.

DrChoda (September 29, 2006)

Skiba should have done this one under another name. Sure it sounds like Skiba but at least there would be more distance between Heavens and alk3.
The layering that is going on behind the vocals is incredible, not over the top, just perfect enough to make it sound simple unless you focus on it.
Lyrically, although not Skiba's finiest work, works well. Simple.
When I listened to this I did not go in with the expectations that it should sound like any of alk3's earlier or later work because it wasn't alkaline trio.
The whole album in my opinion in one ot the best albums I have heard in years.
To the people that are waiting for a comeback of alk3's earlier sound just let it go and move on. People and bands change they can't stay the same forever. And let's face it, if they did, most of the people on here would be bitching about that too. Perfect example: Pennywise.

This album is definitely worth picking up. Give it a few listens if you don't like it at first, because it will grow on you. More importantly do not put it on thinking this is going to be another version of alkaline trio because it was never intended to be.
It's an album created by Steinbrick and Skliba.

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

its very Postal Service
i heard Patent Pendingt on the radio first and it confused me because it sounded like the postal service..but a different band as well
then i guessed at alk.
which was partly right.
so yeh. respect to cogsinthemachine. it is very thealkalineservice
but i like it

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

hey you guys,
your moms eat cat poo! yep, i said it. do somethin!

lighten the hell up kidds. Alkaline Trio is NOT the same as Heavens. dont expect it to be. and i bet you'd all be bitching if it sounded like Trio anyway. "lah blah blah...its the same blah blah blah, they changed."give it up kidds. open your minds or simply dont fucking listen to it.

Anonymous (September 24, 2006)

people actually liked crimson? really?

this is ok.

Anonymous (September 22, 2006)

I'm a devout Alkaline Trio fan, as I have been into them since the start. Honestly, I have tried sooo hard to like this record, but it just isn't happening. This was a big dissapointment for me. Pretty sure the new Falcon record is going to kick some serious ass though...

Anonymous (September 21, 2006)

First off, I'm thrilled to finally hear some Crimson bashing.

Ben said:
Iā??m the dude that sits around complaining that Alkaline Trio hasnā??t made a great album in the last five years, so if you disagree with me on that, you might very well disagree with me on this.

I do disagree, but based on the few songs I've heard, I'm guessing you're right about this album.

Scruffy (September 18, 2006)

I've always wondered why people excuse mediocre albums by telling themselves that the so-called fans just don't like the "change", despite the fact that these fans like other bands for changing. If you like a bland album with opvious weak points, fine, but don't tell me I have to like it or I just can't stand change.

We don't hate Vheissu because of the change. It's because Thrice isn't good at the new style.
We don't think Crimson is mediocre because it's different. All of their other albums are completely different from each other. Can you honestly tell me Maybe I'll Catch Fire and Good Mourning sound alike? We don't like the direction they took with Crimson. That's different than hating change for change's sake.

Anonymous (September 18, 2006)

i think most of you are crazy... this album is one of the coolest albums i've heard in a long time.

i've always wondered why certain fans of a band (ex: alkaline trio) claim to love a band, but then totally hate them when they fail to keep making the same album all over again.

crimson was a good album, and so is this album.

mikeinflames (September 18, 2006)

this is just flat out bad
it's boring and unoriginal

the only thing that could have saved this album would have been if it was an album of smiths covers

crippledmark (September 16, 2006)


Anonymous (September 16, 2006)

first of all, yes i am a big trio fan. however, this record, to me, sounds nothing like trio, as the only similarity would be matt's voice, but he sings much lower and calmer in this, and so it doesn't really remind me of trio at all.

secondly, i am not particularly a fan of any kind of interpol or joy division-esque music, ditto for electronic music in general.

however, despite these points, i cannot get enough of this album.

Anonymous (September 14, 2006)

i was really underwhelmed with this album when i first heard it. but now that i listen to it, it's fleshing itself out a little better. on a whole, the album is pretty mediocre but it's got a few gems in there.. lyrics aside.

niveK82 (September 14, 2006)

did the score of this album go from 7 to 6? or an i just nuts? Probably both.

Anonymous (September 14, 2006)

i remember when all this death stuff was a joke.

Anonymous (September 14, 2006)

skiba needs to sing again. remember when he would belt it out? 'goodbye forever' anyone?


Anonymous (September 14, 2006)

wait wait,some people are dumb enough to call Crimson the bands best work?!?


TheYoungInfluential (September 14, 2006)

this was better than i thought it would be, but still not that great. oh well.

Anonymous (September 14, 2006)

This is good winter background music. Lyrics could've been better though.

Cogsinthemachine (September 14, 2006)


Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

the title track is really the only thing i'm digging so far

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

lame review

Just because you gave up on the Trio, gives you the same sour taste to bash Heavens.

Grow up. Stop hating Matt and the Trio.

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

Man. there's a band called STATIC AGE now???? how many bands are there that take their name from MISFITS material?

kingofsuck (September 13, 2006)

I really like the first half of the album, then it kind of trails off. But I still think it's an enjoyable record to listen to overall.

Anonymous (September 13, 2006)

this is probably the most boring thing ever in all of history and time

davebrave4 (September 13, 2006)

So if I foud A. Trio's last album so boring that I couldn't listen to it, I probably shouldn't get this.

eastern_waste (September 13, 2006)

soooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad. skiba is poopdick now.

arrhythmia (September 12, 2006)

and lol @ colin comment

arrhythmia (September 12, 2006)

Like most of the new CD's that old bands put out nowadays, Crimson was overproduced as hell.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

This record is really, really boring.

And no, that's not saying it's boring because it's not Alk3, it's just uninspired.

waltezmo (September 12, 2006)

I'm pretty into any alkaline trio record, and I think crimson has some of their best work on it. This CD doesnt do anything for me though.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

Can the Falcon come out already...please God?

jacknife737 (September 12, 2006)

Amazing record.

Its not Alk3, get over it.

inagreendase (September 12, 2006)

7 is totally accurate. It sounds just like all the other Joy Division worshippers and Skiba's becoming a lyrical parody of himself, yet the songs themselves are pretty enjoyable. It's better than Crimson in any event.

Mute98 (September 12, 2006)

this cd is atrocious

wyzo (September 12, 2006)

its odd, but I actually think Crimson is good, and I loathe there vagrant releases (give or take the loose gem). I always thought Dan was the tease of the group, with Skiba writing the filler for the bands (filler songwriters not always a negative term, Greg Graffin for instance great songwriter, but he writes the fiber bulk of any record).

Anyway, this sounds like crap, better electronic music has been done by amateurs.


klonny (September 12, 2006)

Its 15 times better than Crimson.

Mostly because Crimson was horrible.

skaboom (September 12, 2006)

Didn't this band form only a couple months ago?

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

Love this record.

ElVaquero (September 12, 2006)


Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

I liked songs 2 and 4 immensely, but that song Heather bores the shit out of me. Once it gets to about song 8 I am a little bored and usually stop listening.


Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

Boring Sidney.

Keith19 (September 12, 2006)

For saying it sounds just like Alkaline Trio because of Skiba's vocals, no shit. When the guy sings it sounds like Alkaline Trio.

I was hesitant to hear this, but I think that it's atually very good. In my opinion, dead end girl is a great song as is watching you.

jamespastepunk (September 12, 2006)

Skiba sounds bored singing these songs.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

matt...give it up. dans got way more on you then youll ever have. matt gives alkaline a dirty name. but im liking you more now that your going bald. it gives you less of a prety boy frontman thing, now the light wont be stolen from dan on stage.

vjonnyv (September 12, 2006)

Six is probably a better score, but the words mean more than the number. I'll still pick this up over Mars Volta today.

the_other_scott (September 12, 2006)

to what justin said. totally sounds like a goth/emo/depressing version of the postal service i'm stoked to see them with darker my love

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

i listened to this due to the fact they have been compared to sisters of mercy, um, not at all...and that does a complete disservice to the sisters of mercy and andrew eldridge, this is boring...-oldpunker-

ramo (September 12, 2006)

Matt provides the gloom setting but gotta love Josh's work on this album. It has it's moments. I do like the song "Another Night".


Davo-88 (September 12, 2006)

Fuckin excellent record! Really impressed with this one got it yday in the mail and have been listenin to it since. Skiba's vocals and lyrics go so well with the music, some of the stuff sounds a bit like Interpol or Joy Division at times. Def gonna be one of my albums of 2006!

colin (September 12, 2006)

Completely solid record. Sounds like the Cure covering the Postal Service. I think the vocals and lyrics work really well in the whole package.

there you have it folks. what happens when you smoke crack.

cash_money_hustla (September 12, 2006)

This just sounds so half baked to me.

MikeStupid (September 12, 2006)

God, there are some terrible lyrics on this. The music's okay, but I can't get over the damn lyrics.

Fuzzy (September 12, 2006)

Completely solid record. Sounds like the Cure covering the Postal Service. I think the vocals and lyrics work really well in the whole package.

It's nothing groundbreaking, but is thoroughly enjoyable.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

heh... this album is hilarious. especially the song "heather"

WORST LYRICS EVER. in a totally hilarious way.

Anonymous (September 12, 2006)

I'm pretty into this record, I'd say its better than the last alk3 record and while this is nothing new, its cool to see another record from skiba

niveK82 (September 12, 2006)

Very disapointing

GlassPipeMurder (September 12, 2006)

pretty generous score...i've had this for a couple weeks and still haven't really gotten into it.

BrendanKelly (September 12, 2006)


colin (September 12, 2006)

i generally love matt skiba but the lyrics and their delivery on this are completely awful, a 7 is a score far too generous.

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