Saturday, June 16, 2012

Album Review: Gates - You Are All You Have Left To Fear

Album Rating: B+
There's something really special about picking up an album you know nothing about, and lighting up after the first few, fantastic moments where the ingenuity of the artist really dawns upon you. Gates really brings the power of instrumental rock to a more traditional rock setting, combined with truly raw vocals that, while perhaps not completely in tune, bring so much heart to the music that it becomes an irresistible spell, from wavering croons to throat-shredding screaming. If one was really to describe Gates accurately, the first thing that comes to mind is throwing Jeremy Enigk or Mineral's Chris Simpson in with the creative minds of Moonlit Sailor - that would be slightly scratching the surface of what Gates really is.

The musical styles of Gates' songs tend not to vary as much as one would like; however, similarity really isn't synonymous with negativity in the least, especially since the release is short enough that the listener won't get tired of listening to a couple of tracks of the same threading. An absolute wonder, though, and tribute to heavily-vamping bands like Explosions in the Sky, was "To Those Who Fell...," a song that begins simply, and very relaxed. However, it begins to build, the drums pushing it, faster and faster, as a reverberating tremolo begins to hum a wonderful tune. The humming grows, louder and louder, until it envelops the being of the listener, and just being enamored with what the song is, and the feelings that arise when listening to the beautiful, brief moment really pulls into the follow-up, "...And To Those Who Carry On" so very, very well.

Gates brings a mixing of emo vocal styles with bright, pleasing instrumental music, and the result is tremendous. They bring six songs of uncut, fresh vocals and a refined sound of clean guitars, alternative rock-style drums, and genuine musicality to boot. And those six songs are well chosen too, in an order that begs the listener to listen to the entire release, at least one time through. Then, it encourages another listen, just to make sure you didn't miss anything the first time. And then, it nods you through again, a third time just for nostalgia. By now, you're so wrapped into the music that you don't even notice. And that's what is really special about this release: the length is short enough that you want to keep listening, but the music is so enamoring that you really don't mind at all. Gates shows a lot of musical prowess on this record, and I'm getting the feeling that post-rock fans and emo fans alike will really appreciate what the small New Jersey band has to offer on their sophomore release.

You can listen to the entire thing on their Bandcamp.

Track Listing:
1) They See Only Shadows
2) Like This You Mean
3) Cast in the Pattern
4) To Those Who Fell...
5) ...And To Those Who Carry On
6) The Sound of Letting Go

No comments:

Post a Comment