By A. Akbar

Not much was known about the secretive Malaysian alternative band Patriots until the release of their first single, Fallen, where the true faces of Patriots was revealed.

That’s when fans knew that Patriots had been in the industry for many years using a different name and concept – a pop-punkish metalcore band called Heart A Tack.

Heart A Tack was born in SMK Section 9 Shah Alam when vocalist Amir Shazrin and guitarist Aiman Afzal wanted to form a band together during their high school years. They invited childhood friends Hakimi, Bong Rusli, and drummer Putera El Rachid. Putera El Rachid would go on to leave the band to join fellow Shah Alam-based band HWC a few years later.

The band had a few achievements on their belt – notably being one of the winners of  the Hitz.TV Music Video grant in 2011 alongside Maddthelin, The Padangs, and Ballad For Layla – which saw rapper Shinji Moriwaki directing Heart A Tack’s first ever music video at Gudang Noisy (now Rumah Api) featuring famous BMX rider, Mat Dagu and graffiti artist Defy, called Hilangkan.

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The music video received more than 60,000 hits, prompting the band to release a full scale debut EP called Masih Aktif in early 2012 which received massive support from fans, musicians, and even industry players in the country.

The success of the EP attracted punk band Bunkface to invite Heart A Tack on tour with them for the BUNK NOT DEAD Malaysian tour sponsored by DiGi. With tour dates all across the country, the popularity of the band increased as they sold off EPs and other merchandise in the first few locations.

The wave the band was riding didn’t stop there. Heart A Tack soon signed under Skesh Entertainment and opened for USA pop punk outfit Mayday Parade at Chin Woo Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, before going on tour with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus the year after. They have also opened for the likes of ISSUES, Chunk! No Captain Chunk!, and Neck Deep.

In mid-2015, Heart A Tack attracted interest from major music label Universal Music. With the opportunity presented to them, they decided to ditch their high school sweetheart image and adopt a more mature look. The band deleted all traces of Heart A Tack on social media to start anew, now calling themselves Patriots.

News was scarce after all traces of Heart A Tack were wiped off the internet, until the group released an energetic music video for their new song, “Fallen”, on January 22nd, 2016.

“Fallen” opened up fresh rumours of an album, which was confirmed by lead singer Amir Shazrin to be titled Stand Off – their major-label debut with Universal Music.

The Level was told that another music video might surface anytime soon, so keep an eye on the site for the freshest news on local music!

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