Record #339: gates – Parellel Lives (2016)

To be completely honest, I probably never would have had any interest in gates if it weren’t for their current tour with Thrice and La Dispute (which, sadly, I have to miss).

​But after listening to this, their second full length, it’s a really good thing they are, because I almost certainly would have missed out on this record (instead of ordering it as soon as I realized I wasn’t going to be able to make the show), and that would have been sad. 

Most of the information on gates online describes them as a post rock band. And while they certainly make good use of post rock instrumentation such as huge blasts of tremolo guitar crescendoes, glitching synths, angular drum beats, lush atmospheres, and the like, it fails to communicate how brilliant their popcraft is.

Because there’s definitely vocals here. Choruses, even, with great big meaty hooks. And that popcraft takes a great number of cues from some of my mid-00s emo/indie rock favorites, like Copeland or Waking Ashland, which is no detriment.

​And given both genres’ tendencies towards prettiness and larger-than-life statements, it should come as no surprise. After all, post rock and emo are no strangers–the 90s saw bands like American Football, Slint, Sunny Day Real Estate, and the Appleseed Cast straddling blurring the line between the two. It makes sense that the two divergent paths should converge with beautiful results.

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