Gates – The Sun Will Rise and Lead Me Home
Record Label: None
Release Date: January 25, 2011
When Lydia broke up last year, I’m willing to bet most all of us were crushed. Period. However, at least we now have hope of still listening to the members in the future. In 2010, we encountered Mindy White’s new group, States. Now, we have Lydia’s guitarist Ethan Koozer’s project, Gates. Let’s get one thing straight: this is not Lydia Pt. 2, at all. The only even similar aspect of Lydia within Gates is the guitar styles, respectfully. Sure enough, the guitars and musical elements of the band are the highlight of their sound, as the vocals of Kevin Dye may take some getting used to.
The Sun Will Rise and Lead Me Home is quite a journey for just a six track EP. As drawn from the title, this is an optimistic offering; Gates have created a journey of hope. The opener “A Vague Ambition” is the first taste of what Gates are – a rock band. Dye’s raw vocal delivery is apparent over the intricate instrumentation on the track. The first minute of music is beautiful, and albeit the vocals sound as if they may need some work at times, they actually fit the sound quite well.
“Walls” features the thick bass of Mike Maroney as Dye sings of a new beginning: “Tear down the walls / it’s so beautiful to be where we began.” Here, it becomes fully prevalent that Gates wish to be a breath of fresh air. “Burned Us Alive” is a softer number, both beautiful musically and vocally. Clearly, the musical aspect of Gates is where they truly shine, as the instrumental “At The End of All Things” is riveting. That said, the vocals do work when layered with the instruments, as the closing “Sleepwalker” is an atmospheric end to The Sun Will Rise and Lead Me Home and a superb ending – both vocally and musically – at that.
As the EP comes to a close, it will leave many grasping for more. The instrumentation is hardly matched, as it is simply pristine and intricate. Likewise, the raw vocal style of Dye also grows on the listener greatly with each track. Gates have brought a lot to the table with this colossal EP, and it’s sure to be an even bigger year for these guys.
Looking forward to more new stuff but I expected more. Each song is indistinguishable from the next. There are bright spots for sure. Some more focused songwriting, a few more hooks and some variety in tempo/key/styles is what i'll be hoping for with their next recording. Overall, I agree with the 77-80% review