Record Label: Glass Nail Records
Release Date: July 17, 2012
I love post-hardcore. Unlike many genres, it never stays the same for long. It’s always changing and morphing from one sound to another. Each layer of the post-hardcore spectrum is different from the next, from its beginnings with bands such Fugazi and Shellac onto Drive Like Jehu and Cap’n Jazz progressing to Finch and Glassjaw, and most recently, The Wave; La Dispute, Defeater etc. Gatherer, the band I’m reviewing today come straight from the most recent school of post-hardcore. Clocking in at around seven minutes, Gatherer’s debut EP, Postcards, is a lesson in beaten down, post-hardcore.
Gatherer, consisting of Christian Berrigan (vocals), Matt Popowski (bass), Adam Cichoki (drums), Randy Leboeuf (guitar) and Austin Lipinski (guitar), scream and shout their way through four brief, but blistering tracks. Kicking off with “Wedding Bells’, the EP provides its mission statement in the first, pessimistic lyric heard; ‘It’s 5am / Wake up and smell the disappointments’. It certainly doesn’t get much more optimistic. The entire release is cloaked in a sad, tired atmosphere. Themes focus on choices in life, loneliness, and generally feeling rubbish. They’re not overly complex but they are undeniably easy to relate with. Berrigan’s worn out and frustrated screams express the emotions perfectly. On whole, each instrument compliments the next, spitfire drumming is omnipresent, distorted guitars combine with intricate lines and steady, constant bass work.
The EP sticks more or less to the tried and tested formula of recent post-hardcore, but this is in no way a criticism. It’s the subtle touches that set Gatherer apart, and make them great at what the do. ‘Postcards’ puts together distortion and staccato guitars, with lyrics based on missing a loved one. 'Jones Beach' is heavier and is the best of a great bunch. 'Brittle Bones' end the brief affair musical love affair with a combination of all that has previously passed in the EP, alongside the addition of the occasional unaccompanied vocal.
Postcards is the sound of a band with talent that, by far, exceeds that of bands much more experienced than them. Only criticism? It’s far too short. Whilst the song lengths are perfect, the EP is far too fleeting and Gatherer need to put out a full length release. Depending on where they go from here, Gatherer could definitely be the next big thing.