‘BLOOM & BREATHE‘
(Out Now on Pure Noise)
NEW JERSEY’S GATES HAVE SET OUT TO CREATE a new generation of post-rock with their debut long player Bloom & Breathe. An album that immediately looks to build on the bones of failed predecessors and faded glories, listeners unfortunately get the ruse a little too early to be truly convinced they’re here to stay.
A heady mix of instrumentals with vast guitar effects and marching beats, and alternative new-wave rock puts B&B squarely in the bracket of layered directness. Tracks such as ‘Everything That Ever Has Been’ rides along a pulsating tempo and futuristic noises that flash like the opening to a 70’s space odyssey. ‘Bloom’ ventures into post-grunge territory but lacks the diversity also absent in the subsequent tracks, ironically opening the floodgates. While ‘Persist in Delusion’ lingers in 90’s emo, the music ultimately becomes background noise to some superb vocals.
Throughout, they put the vocals way up front, ignoring what could be memorable guitar progressions if pushed a little further. ‘Not My Blood’ serves as the album’s single, but repeats the fatigued cycle of guitar delays and ungainly leads, before ‘Light The First Page’ carries a memorable guitar melody that will leave listeners wondering why they hadn’t opted for such freedom of expression elsewhere. Occassionally attempting to score with the lure of big arena rock, where poignancy may have been better placed, they seek to distract with delicate counter moments like ‘Nothing You Miss’ and ‘Marrow’, humbly the best cut, each more than capable of tearing apart the heart of the airwaves.
By the time instrumental closer ‘Everything That Always Will Be’ spins around, everything becomes a blur of reprocessed ideas that suggest if Bloom & Breathe is an allegory for new beginnings, they’ll need to dig a little deeper if they’re to truly flourish on album number two. (6)