As I have said before, there aren't too many "new" bands that really get me excited. Maybe I'm just a creature with refined tastes...or maybe I have turned into some sort of jaded, 34 year old arm-chair critic/hack who hates everything? What fun! I admit that my tastes might not be everyone's "cup-o-tea"...but they are mine, and I am content enjoying my record collection...even if it is, for the most part, stuck in the 90's. Despite me being out of touch with most new music, I still love that giddy feeling I get when I hear something that rocks. I recently came across Gates (Thanks to a short write-up on the WashedUpEmo blog), and when something pleases my ears as much as their new EP, I can't stop myself from gushing about it. I'll cut through all the nonsense and just come out and say it: This band is amazing...easily my favorite new band of the year and we're barely into February.
"The Sun Will Rise And Lead Me Home," is a six song slice of brilliance. This EP is perfect...and I would be hard pressed to give very many examples of "perfect" records (granted it is only six songs...but I won't disparage it due to brevity). While it loosely reminds me of other bands (The Appleseed Cast, for one), it is NOT a nostalgia trip through the Deep Elm discography. The songs swell, with delayed guitar parts weaving in between each other. The drums breathe...striking a balance between pushing the tempos a long, and pausing just long enough to allow a guitar, or vocal melody, to rise above the mix. The vocals are crisp and powerful, and the sense of good melody really shines above the beauty of the instruments. There have always been bands that were able to build amazing sound-scapes (Explosions In The Sky, Tristeza), but many of those bands lacked the pop sensibilities that people could grasp. Gates does an excellent job melding those two worlds together...beautiful mini-epics married to a strong display of vocal melody. Real "songs" that are an ideal place to get lost in during your 30 minute lunch break.
Buy this record...thank me later.