Fotocrime is the project of R — aka, Ryan Patterson, the former frontman of Louisville punk trio Coliseum. When his old band collapsed, R set out on a solo endeavor, first resulting in last year’s dual EPs Always Hell and Always Night. Those releases revealed a pretty different side of R as a musician — instead of raging, throat-tearing punk vocals, he had settled into a gravelly and brooding post-punk croon that he deployed over drum machines and synthesizers. And we’re about to get a more holistic picture of where R’s at now in Fotocrime: His full-length debut under the moniker, Principle Of Pain, is out next month.
We’ve already heard the album’s opener “Nadia (Last Year’s Men),” and today Fotocrime is sharing another new one called “The Rose And The Thorn.” Here’s what R had to say about the track:
“The Rose And The Thorn” began as a mixture of a few seemingly disparate sources of inspiration. The opening repeating guitar line came to me as a nod to UK anarcho punk a la Crisis and The Mob, while the highway-bound cinematic tone was directly looking to some of Roy Orbison’s final recordings. My demos of the song never quite gelled, I thought it would be cut from the recording session but it became something special in the studio and ended up becoming a standout on the album and a live favorite. It also contains some of my favorite lyrical imagery, inspired by countless nights watching the lines on the road lead to lackluster hotels that all coalesce into memories that seem half dreamed and half real.
It’s a fittingly nocturnal, smoky piece of darkwave, R singing over little unnerving synth coos and guitars that gleam in greyscale. Overall, it very much conjures that feeling of highways late at night giving way to a “place with no name,” as he says in one of the verses. Check it out below.