Reviews Gateway District Perfect's Gonna Fail

Gateway District

Perfect's Gonna Fail

The Gateway District’s debut, Some Days You Get the Thunder hooked me immediately yet, to this day, I can’t single out a standout track or identify just what about it grabs me. I just like the record. The whole thing, not an iTunes cut here and there, as is wont these days. It’s with similar feelings I find myself listening to its follow-up.

The band’s resume is an impressive collection of Minneapolis pop punk and their substance revolves around bouncy chords and a steady, peppy beat, with the dual vocals of Maren Macosko and Carrie Bleser serving as the primary melodic vehicle (especially in Macosko’s voice that, at times, recalls her Soviettes past). The energy that comes forth through the songs is incredibly positive despite the lyrics treading on downer subjects, starting out with the record’s opening line, “Ain’t that the sun setting on your lie?” Generally, this involves reminiscing on past experiences: soured relationships and ill-begotten associates, all colorfully described with lyrics about personal experiences, layered with imagery about walking through city streets and an occasional river reference, that makes the personal material more accessible.

So what does the record sound like? Well, it’s more focused than their debut—gone are the country-tinged songs, and the two singers utilize more harmonies instead of vocal tradeoffs. The vocals are the real difference. When Macosko takes the lead and Bleser picks up the harmony, there are shades of sugary Go-Gos, and the record generally sounds cleaner and poppier than Some Days You Get the Thunder. Meanwhile, Macosko’s tendency to stretch out her syllables to match up with the guitar is really what pulls The Gateway District’s sound together, as opening her voice to stretch the words gives an emotional pull that is well-suited to the first person lyrics, and this vocal inflection separates them from bands of a similar ilk. The guitar does a good job of leading these vocal flourishes, and it sounds like the band are all playing on the same page, having fully gelled since the last time around; this time conjoining their disparate styles instead of by having each member essentially have their own songs. The end product is the sum of its part: quick-paced pop punk that’s focused on personal introspection. While it doesn’t reinvent anything, the enthusiasm throughout really feeds into its listener.

7.0 / 10Loren
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