Pure Noise might be best known as safe haven for pop-punk bands, but you’d be hard-pressed to label Gates as anything resembling pop-punk. Instead, this New Jersey based band’s sound lingers somewhere between indie rock, emo and delicate post-rock.
“Parallel Lives”, the band’s second album”, comes with eleven soundscape-y songs almost entirely made out of shuffling drums, slowly shimmering guitars and dreamlike vocals. If there is one thing this band is not lacking, it’s atmosphere. And while there’s a lot to be said for an ambiance-laden sound, it is also my main problem with this album.
Every single time I consciously started listening to this album, mind set on getting to the end, I found my attention wandering off after a couple of songs. There’s a lack of dynamism on “Parallel Lives” that makes these songs blend in with the background. And while these guys are very good at creating a mood, there is no pay-off in the end. And I happen to find it more gratifying when songs lead somewhere rather than just float by.
There is nothing inherently wrong with “Parallel Lives”. Everything sounds pretty and delicate and if they had a couple more songs like “Shiver”, it would have been a different story. But as it stands, this one falls just short of being memorable.