Beyond The Ruins
posted on 1/2007 By:
I always wonder what it’s like to be in a band like Gather. Hardcore is a genre that’s supposedly built on passion and defiance of standards; how must it feel to try and defy standards by passionately imitating other bands?
Not that Gather is the kind of band to be concerned with this kind of navel-gazing question…or any other kind of question for that matter. This Bay Area act plays head-down, direct metallic hardcore with an ostentatious vegan/straightedge lyrical slant, and do so in a style that sounds approximately like a crossbreed of Earth Crisis and Walls of Jericho (thanks to the slight thrash influence and vocalist Genie’s dry rasp). The songs are short, the breakdowns are burly, and the delivery is ‘passionate’ enough. Most of the tracks are mid-paced, and a couple also feature moody quiet interludes during which Genie expounds upon the band’s “stand strong in the face of opposition and punch people who hurt animals”-type worldview.
If you hadn’t guessed it by now, I’m having a little bit of trouble giving a shit about this album. It’s not out of an inherent dislike for the style being played; I enjoy the occasional po-faced metallic hardcore album as much as the next guy. Rather, Gather’s problem lies with—what else?—their conspicuous lack of distinguishing features. I’ve heard so many bands taking this angle both musically and lyrically that I doubt I could pick them out of a police lineup, chick singer and all. Even Vic DiCara (Inside Out and 108, whose influence also makes a noticeable appearance on this album) doesn’t lend anything but a predictably muted, fuzzy tone to Beyond the Ruins, and I frequently find my attention wandering elsewhere within the disc’s first two songs. In short, overly familiar and therefore dull.
The Monster samples were kinda cool though.
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