Gatherers craft an infectious and emotionally-heavy post-hardcore opus with their sophomore full-length album, We Are Alive Beyond Repair.
New Jersey’s Gatherers made their debut back in 2012 with the release of Postcards, purveying a fast yet melodic hardcore sound similar to modern post-hardcore/screamo acts such as Touche Amore and Frameworks. Fast-forward to a couple of recordings later and the band’s sound began to incorporate elements of emo, post-rock and early 2000s post-hardcore, resulting in a powerful mixture that, while undoubtedly familiar, was wrought with emotional potency. This sonic evolution seemed to arrive to its apex with the release of Quiet World in 2015 and the arrival of new vocalist Rich Weinberger. However, as made evident by We Are Alive Beyond Repair, that was only the beginning of a new chapter for this band.
We Are Alive Beyond Repair picks up where its predecessor left off stylistically, but really builds upon the band’s penchant for intricacy while showing greater emphasis on atmosphere and memorability this time around. The album’s 11 songs weave in and out of clean guitar-driven passages infused with wavering, dreamlike atmospheres, and heart-wrenching, anthemic stampedes that are equally cathartic and melancholic. The album’s emotional gut-punch is aided tremendously by Weinberger’s commanding vocal presence. The frontman is able to flow rather seamlessly between breathy crooning and throat-searing screams, similar to vocalists like Glassjaw‘s Daryl Palumbo albeit more moody and less frantic. With the exception of some slightly forced lines in the song “Trust”, Weinberger’s vocals flow smoothly from one extreme to the next and are the perfect for an album of this magnitude.
“Spill” kicks everything off with a back-and-forth struggle between shimmering clean guitars and throttling post-hardcore spearheaded by incendiary vocal refrains. The song proves to just be the tip of the iceberg as “Every Pain in Monochrome” comes crashing in with storming guitars, peppered with intricate melodies and shoegaze-esque textures, and pain-stricken vocals. This faster, more “vicious” approach is implement throughout the album, but even more so in the one-two punch of “A Reverie in Mass Transit” and “Lambs to the Chapel”.
Songs such as the ludicrously catchy “The Floorboards are Breathing” showcase an almost alternative rock feel infused with ethereal post-rock. The song bleeds from cascading guitars and moody verses to blood-pumping choruses throughout, leading to an intense climax of blistering, tremolo-picked riffs and jarring screams. The album’s ninth track, “Passengers of Youth”, follows a similar path by crafting gorgeously sad, slow-burning verses whose gleaming melodies eventually swell into an epic conclusion.
Gatherers‘ We Are Alive Beyond Repair is an instantly memorable and unabashedly emotive record that puts a lot of its contemporaries to shame. Listeners will be memorizing every depressive lyric and wiping tears from their eyes at the same time.
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Label: Equal Vision Records
Favorite Tracks: “Coat”, “The Floorboards are Breathing”, “A Reverie in Mass Transit” and “Passengers of Youth”
For Fans Of: Glassjaw, Thursday, Touche Amore and Movements