Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Gateway District - Perfect's Gonna Fail

A simple survey can accurately determine whether or not you're going to enjoy The Gateway District:

When it comes to music, do you enjoy...
A. Ramonescore pop punk
B. Surf punk
C. Female vocalists
D. Shit that sounds good
E. All of the Above

Well, if you answered with any of those, especially E, you will probably enjoy The Gateway District. They're this band that hails from one of the more prominent pop punk capitals of the world, Minneapolis (Banner Pilot, Off With Their Heads, The Slow Death, The Soviettes, Dillinger Four), and they definitely make their city proud, and continue proving that MN is the shit.

The instruments aren't anything special, but the vocalists playing guitar and bass have really nice voices, which work together really well. The bassist Carrie seems to take the helm more often than not, leading the vocals with her deeper, rougher voice, befitting of a female punk vocalist. While one of the guitarists, a girl named Maren supplies supporting vocals from a slightly higher range. The band first released an EP in 2006, but didn't remain very active until releasing a full length with the lovely It's Alive Records (we love you guys!), which is the same label which housed this new release "Perfect's Gonna Fail".

The album kicks off with "Run Away", which demonstrates what I meant by Carrie singing lead and Maren adding her two cents in the background. This song reminds me of bands like the Riverdales (I mean that in a positive way, I swear), but with vocals that sound more like surf punk, especially in the backup vocals. The vocalists sound so damn good together, it's pretty awesome. Also, in the music video to this song, the drummer Brad calls Maren to request a beer, which she gives to him during the song. It's a pretty simple video other than that, and it's also a pretty simple song. It's catchy, it's fun.

The next song "Macy" reminds me more of The Copyrights and The Dopamines (same band, right?), and holds title as one of my preferred songs on the album. "Leaving Me Behind" might hold that title stronger, not sure. It's catchier, and definitely more fun. Catchy and fun can be used to describe a lot of this. Complex or new really cannot be used so much. There's like a Nofx tribute at the beginning of "Blue Halls", and you're almost led to believe Whoops I Od'd is coming on, but then you realize that it's not, and it's just a decent song that I probably like better than Whoops.

They remind me a lot of Rivethead and Banner Pilot, which is probably due to having Nate from those two bands on guitar...that sounds like a reasonable excuse.

The intro to the song "Waiting For the Sirens" reminds me a lot of Mixtapes, which is weird because Mixtapes are too young for anything to remind me of them. The rest of the song sounds more like a Dear Landlord song, which a female vocalist which sounds like she should be singing some horror punk shit.

The album closes off with "Cairo", which is another song that reminds me of shit like The Copyrights and Dear Landlord, and it's a pretty solid effort overall. I really like this album, but I don't think it's something that will dominate my next few weeks, but there are a few songs I could see putting on mixtapes to listen to when I'm driving. I really recommend Cairo, Waiting For the Sirens, Leave Me Behind, Macy, and Run Away. Those together sound like a really solid EP, and the rest of the songs sound like awesome bonus tracks. You can check out all of the songs over at their Punknews profile where it's being streamed, and you can order the album over at It's Alive Records (link is in our side panel).


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