Music World Magazine, January 1973

"Roll ‘Em Smoke ‘Em
Put Another Line Out"
Patto (Island Records)

By Lee Kaplan

Although they’re hardly a household word, Patto are the finest little rock ‘n’ roll band on either side of the Atlantic ocean. And, with Roll ‘em, Smoke ‘em, Put Another Line Out, their third album, Patto have finally managed to capture on record much of the insanity that characterizes their stage act.

Singing The Blues on Reds, the album’s opening track (and the band’s first attempt at huge commercial success) was written whilst they were touring Scandinavia with Ten Years After, and is a somewhat direct reference to Alvin Lee. The song features some spacey electric-piano work from lead guitarist Olly Halsall, and, although he denies it, vocalist Mike Patto sounds quite a bit like Roger Chapman here. Flat Footed Woman is a woeful tale of unrequited love for a female law enforcement officer that again has some great keyboard work from Olly.

Mummy is, I believe, the first recorded piece of incestuous a cappella music, and it must be understood that all the members of the band were quite inebriated at the time the track was being done, and that the man who wrote and directed the track, Patto drummer John Halsey, is quite fond of singing loudly in posh restaurants while accompanying himself by banging his spoons on his water glass. This I believe is a fair excuse. Side one’s final cut, Loud Green Song, is an out-and-out rocker that features some of the nastiest sounds ever wrenched out of a guitar.

Turn Turtle is the best track on the album. It is the sad story of a lustful young man whose object of attention spurns his affection. Olly’s guitar has never sounded better, and the song contains a great smash ‘em up ending. I Got Rhythm is a slow, laid back blues that puts down the black Stepin Fetchit stereotype once and for all. The lyrics are outrageous, but, no more so than the rest of the album.

Peter Abraham has some really nice bass work by Clive Griffiths, and, once again an outrageous set of lyrics. The album’s finale is the bizarre Cap’n P And The Atto’s, which was recorded one evening while the band was under the influence of a particularly potent continental lager, Stellar Atois.

Nitpicking: Perhaps Lee meant to write that Ollie’s keyboards have never sounded better than on "Turn Turtle" as the guitar is not featured on that track.


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