a.P.A.t.T. are the sonic jesters leaving those interstellar conn-trails strewn across the sky for us all to marvel at, Getintothis’ Mike Stanton goes cloud level in an attempt to unravel the enigma of the letters.
a.P.A.t.T. have a name we have to copy and paste because…you know, it’s a nightmare to type every time. We’re not even sure what it means. Nearest we can find is Aged Psychiatry Assessment and Treatment Team. We don’t think it means anything, just merely messes with our heads. You see a.P.A.t.T. mess with your mind in the same way as Derren Brown or the 1970’s.
a.P.A.t.T. are a unique force of nature, going beyond the definition of band, they epitomise left field creativity. Incantations, explosions of reality warping anti-nostalgic utterances and dread are all part of the package (package to be carried at arm’s length).
Sounding like somewhere between a sectioned Devo and an ‘approach warily’ Cardiacs their sounds are often spasmodic and convulsive. Stretched, compressed and cut-up time signatures are aligned with frothing bass lines, renaissance era organ, harpsichord stabs and jerky fright shouted vocals. On stage they cause gravity to shimmer – seriously, you can see it like a heat haze, all warm and warpy.
A myriad of very weird and unexpected delights lurk around every corner. Just when you think they are herding you into another art-rock pen they pull out a tune with a hook so catchy, so ravenous it makes your last attack of the munchies seem like a sense of mild but nagging déjà vu on a balmy summer’s afternoon.
A genre hasn’t been built that will contain a.P.A.t.T., art-rock, surreal-work, avant-garde, performance art. Formed in Liverpool back in 1997, they have grown, evolved and transformed into the collective they are today, baffling audiences with their almost indecipherable creations and challenging the ears of anybody with, well….mind-ears.
Going out of their way to avoid detection on any musical radar they are the impish, stealth bombers of their time. Their stage shows are so unpredictable not even Derek Acorah can pretend-predict what to expect; veering between performance art and Japanese Noh theatre, it can be an experience bordering on the shamanic.
They have a new album in the offing, Fun With Music slated for release March 14 and it delivers on every level, as you’d expect, and delights and baffles in equal measure. We’ve long since given up trying to decipher exactly what everything means but there is something there hidden among the stylised confusion and obfuscated messages. The thing with a.P.A.t.T. is they never let you settle, just as you think you have an idea where a track, EP or album is going they confound you with a turn so sharp it makes an audible swish in the air. This is indicative of every album they have released. Pick one, any one and put it on shuffle, We dare you. That is the closest you will get to recreating Aleister Crowley’s Boleskine House ritual the ‘Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage‘. Don’t forget to cleanse all portals and gateways before shutting down.
There are few bands so at ease spanning so many genres. Their actual names are irrelevant, they are a whole, for they are legion. Everything you thought you knew no longer applies, all bets are off, dive in and submerge yourself in their carefully crafted world of sights, sounds and experimentation.
- Fun With Music is out on March 14
- a.P.A.t.T. Fun with Music Awareness Campaign Evening takes place March 26
- Mike Stanton used the CTR-V button 8 times in the writing of this article.