(Pure Noise Records)
Gate’s, Parallel Lives, marks the band’s second release through Pure Noise Records.
Right away the album kicks off with a calming drum/piano ambiance in “Forget” that sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s clear within the first few tracks that Gates intends to branch out and make something new. Parallel Lives works best as a whole. It’s hard to pick favorites when all of the songs work as a cohesive unit. The music is relaxing and entrancing, leaving room for the lyrics to be poignant and thought-provoking. “Shiver’s” wickedly vibrant guitar solo elevates and inspires while “House & Home” tells a story of reflection and the danger of living in the past. The dire lyrics are offset by beautiful musicianship and uplifting rhythms to allow listeners to digest the content with ease.
Parallel Lives is a the result of 5 musicians giving everything they have to make something profoundly touching. The dreamlike atmosphere serves as a blanket to the peaceful nature of this album. Their previous album, Bloom & Breathe, works as an emotional gut-check. Parallel Lives is the non-confrontational sibling to their previous work. The distortion is turned down, the drums glide rather than smash, and the vocals are dialed in to maximum effect. Gates experiments with new instruments to push their boundaries and enhance their sound rather than change it. Even with the change in sound, the progression sounds natural and blends in flawlessly. (Patrick Marion)