Caught Between A Rock And A Sad Place

Written by: PP on 19/08/2013 22:41:45

Gatherer burst into the public spotlight with an impressive, albeit slightly unoriginal EP "Postcards" last year, a wave-style emotional hardcore record that sourced all of its inspiration from Touché Amoré's back catalogue, not to mention records by Defeater, La Dispute and other key names in the 90s-inspired screamo revival scene. They've now put out their debut full-length "Caught Between A Rock And A Sad Place", a ten song effort clocking in just under 30 minutes offering more of the same, with ambition turned up a notch in terms of more complex soundscapes in comparison to the EP - just listen to the Envy-style tremolo on "Campfires", for instance.

So what you can expect is build ups, ambient guitars, 90s style production/soundscape, and of course, heartfelt, emotionally torn screams from vocalist Christian, whose expression is as crisp and sharp as it is convincing and full of passion. Unfortunately he has since departed the band, which is a shame, because a large part of the magical atmosphere Gatherer draws up is, much like Touché Amoré, thanks to their vocalist's convincing delivery. Few people can scream as clearly and passionately at the same time in the studio as this guy, those that can are mentioned in the for the fans section and elsewhere in this review.

Strictly instrumentally speaking, Gatherer vary between the loud punk-based expression, where dual guitars provide a solid lead melody and a tight rhythm section, and the more ambient material you also see in melodic hardcore bands sometimes. It's the interplay between the quieter sections and the explosive passages that makes this record work as well as it does. Still, although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Gatherer don't quite come close enough to the emotional depth of Touché Amoré or La Dispute. Soundwise, they rely on almost identical elements both vocally and instrumentally, but where those guys lie screaming their hearts out in a capella with an impassioned crowd shouting back every word at them, Gatherer are a level or two below. They're in a place where people will go home from a show impressed, but are unlikely to push the band into similar scene-wide hype as has been seen with the big names in this style. For a debut release, though, this is solid, and it'll be interesting to hear what effect a new vocalist will have on their identity in the future.


Download: And Now Everyone Sings The Blues, What If I Can't, Campfires
For the fans of: Touché Amoré, La Dispute, Defeater, My Fictions
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.06.2013

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