Parallel Lives

Written by: LF on 21/12/2016 17:19:42

"Parallel Lives" is the fourth release from Gates, an indie/post-rock band from New Brunswick, NJ but it's the first I've heard from them. The band includes some former members of Lydia and stylistically, Gates is not far off on this record. They mix their post-rock with soothing layers of ambient music as well as guitars reminiscent of other emo-tinged post-rock bands like The Appleseed Cast or Prawn.

On a casual listen, "Parallel Lives" can seem very calm and floaty but several of the songs have real strength and crushing tremolo pieces in them that changes up the dynamics. One of the great things about the songs on this record is that they run so very smoothly, soaring and falling in continuous movements instead of fragmenting into different sections. As opposed to most post-rock I've listened to this year, Gates have vocals in all their songs and that might have something to do with that effect. Whether you get caught up in a guitar melody or an outstanding vocal hook, it never disturbs the continuity but rather helps you jump from one bit to the next with no disturbances, not least on the twirling "Habit".

The album runs on the same dreamy mood most of the time though and the songs that stand out the most are the ones where the hazy vocals have especially clingy melodies or the mood gets a little darker. A great example of the former is the simple "Fade" that leaves more space for the vocalist than otherwise on the record, while a song like "Eyes" or the crushing "Left Behind" succeed in combining the two qualities beautifully.

Still, too many of the songs fly by without leaving an outstanding mark because of their similarity but it is however also obvious on several listens that this album is a grower so by all means, give it a try if you're into any of the bands in the FTFO section below.


Download: Habit, Eyes, Fade
For The Fans Of: Athletics, The Appleseed Cast, Moving Mountains, Prawn

Release date 03.06.2016
Pure Noise Records

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