Gates – “Persist in Delusion”
We all have those bands that we look back on and wonder how in the world they didn’t take off. I have quite a lengthy list of talented artists that I believe should be more popular than they are, but Gates has to be somewhere near the top of that list. The band’s 2014 debut Bloom and Breathe was a hit on this site and within a few similar circles, but they really lacked exposure outside of those closed communities. Their 2016 sophomore effort Parallel Lives was another excellent record, but still, Gates has evaded discovery by many. It’s a shame considering that they sound like the best traits of Thrice and Maybeshewill fused together.
“Persist in Delusion” is an especially strong track from the band, thriving on its shimmering guitars and the vocalist’s passionate, Kensrue-like delivery of that cathartic chorus: “don’t cry when everything that you love falls apart.” The slight moment of pause before he launches into those words builds anticipation exceptionally well; a seasoned move from the at-that-time fresh faces. The song builds gradually like something out of a post-rock playbook, eventually reaching a crescendo of intensely clashing drums, guitars, and emotional shouts of “all we had is a lie, come to find out.” It’s a breathtaking soundscape that blends alternative rock, post-hardcore vocals, emo lyrics/delivery, and a post-rock progression/atmosphere.
When we look back on a decade full of some brilliant and innovative alternative rock (Thrice, O’Brother, Thursday), it’s easy to forget about Gates – a band with only 2 LP’s but that seems to be already on par with some of the genre’s titans. “Persist in Delusion” is too powerful a moment to ignore: a gorgeous puzzle of different but well-fitting genre pieces that makes for one of the most poignant rock moments of the past ten years.