If you close your eyes and listen to the music of gates, you would swear you are hearing a rock symphony. The melodies, light and airy, build to a crescendo of hard driving guitar riffs and perfectly timed drum beats that lead the listener up and down (sometimes, in and out) of each selection making it impossible to turn away. Dan King (guitar), Ethan Koozer (guitar), Kevin Dye (guitar/vocals), and Mike Maroney in the string section, with Dan Crapanzano on percussion, provide original compositions in a genre that can only be described as philharmonic rock.
Songwriting is an organic process that develops over time. What begins as an idea in a phrase or fragment, becomes a group project. As the band members share bits & pieces of music, it evolves naturally with each individual’s input to form the finished song. Unique on their second album, you are all you have left to fear, the guitars are played in tandem, not layered throughout the song. Dye believes that each singular contribution led to overall individual compositions that were played all at once. The newest release, Bloom and Breathe, shows a progressive trend to their music in a more unified effort. Dye explains, “[Bloom and Breathe] is more focused on playing the same rhythm patterns and the same notes. It made one single part more [cohesive] than three people playing together.” Both albums are indicative of the way gates works together to create exceptional new music with each collection. Not bound by genre barriers, nor willing to be satisfied with the status quo, gates continues to grow and learn with their music.
Death is out of order. It is almost impossible to reconcile the loss of a loved one when it happens suddenly at a young age. The song lyrics from “…and to those who carry on” pronounce “All along we’re meant for this/moving forward to exist/we live on and we will never be whole again/but I just wish you would open your eyes and you’d wake up.” The words describe how difficult it can be to live without someone you thought would be there longer. From the perspective of remembrance as opposed to grieving, the song is about keeping the memory alive. Although the physical being is gone, they remain beside us in our recollections.
It is a buffet of sound for your ears to consume. I am not going to lie, I cannot help but move like a conductor every time I listen to Bloom and Breathe, directing each piece as it seesaws through unexpected segments that are thrilling and poignant at the same time. The audience swayed gently through the hauntingly sweet melodies, then turned to banging and screaming as the music exploded with indisputable hard driving rock. The crowd sang each word, moved with the music, but it was the first time I saw smiles of pure pleasure on each face. They were not just listening to the music, they were feeling it, because gates is not just another band, it is an experience.[youtube]http://youtu.be/pdj7kCDV3XY[/youtube]