The first piece of new music since their visceral 2022 anthem ‘Y.A.W‘ (Yes All Women), Belfast-based DIY punks Problem Patterns have shared their latest single ‘Who Do We Not Save?’. Released via Alcopop! Records who the band have recently signed to, the track takes aim at the incompetent Tory government and their continued attempts to privatise the NHS, and it’s bursting with the group’s trademark empathy, rage and wit.
Giving their listeners a space to release their pent up frustrations, fears and disappointments is a core value of Problem Patterns’ music, and with ‘Who Do We Not Save?’ the band have provided another cathartic aural antidote that offsets the anxiety of the uncertain times we’re currently living through. “You and I are collateral damage” vocalist Alanah Smith states in the chant-worthy chorus, over Bethany Crooks’ commanding beats, the rumbling basslines of Ciara King and the corrosive riffs of guitarist Beverley Boal, who also sings dual vocals on the track.
“Our healthcare system has been falling apart for years due to cuts, and the pandemic only sped up the process,” the band comment about the context of their new single. “We constantly see campaigns telling people to ask for help, especially in regards to mental health, but the reality is that the services we need are under too much pressure. The line ‘We’re one or two paychecks away’ refers to the fact that many of us will be in a lot of trouble if privatisation becomes reality here. The title itself is lifted verbatim from Dominic Cumming’s photo of the white board used to plan the UK government’s early response to COVID. We thought it would be fitting to use it for the single’s cover art, too.”
‘Who Do We Not Save?’ is also accompanied by a video, directed by Smith and shot on location at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast. “I wanted the video to capture the chaotic energy of the song,” comments Smith. “I pictured the storyline as soon as we’d finished the song. In the first half, you have stressed out healthcare workers trying to save a life without the tools to be able to do so. Meanwhile, there’s a shady business deal to sell off what little is left of public healthcare, big menacing grins and all. I wanted to approach this with a bit of comedy, because if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.”
“I made the medical supplies and instruments (except the toy drums) with things like cardboard and yarn, as I wanted everything to look extremely cheap and ultimately useless. The death scene in the ambulance was inspired by the film ‘Dave Made A Maze’, where they used things like confetti and glitter in place of standard fake blood.”
Recently name-checked as Riot Grrrl legend Kathleen Hanna’s new favourite group (and as GIHE favourites since the release of their 2020 single ‘Big Shouty‘), we can’t wait for Problem Patterns to release their highly anticipated debut album on Alcopop! Records later this year.
Watch the video for ‘Who Do We Not Save?’ below.
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Problem Patterns UK Live Dates 2023
15.03.23 – The Black Box, Belfast (Pink Pound)
17.03.23 – The Garage, London (w/ Fight Like Apes)
07.04.23 – Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast (Friday Fest w/ Axis Of, Mob Wife)
30.04.23 – Bollox, Manchester (Sound Of The Other City Festival)
15.07.23 – Ost Hafen, Berlin (My People Fest w/ FAIM, Dying For It)
22.07.23 – EBGBs, Liverpool (Crapfest w/ Crapsons, Piss Kitti)
19.08.23 – Glasgow (Core Festival)