Review Summary: Shows massive potential, but ultimately falls victim to the occasional awkward lyric and comparisons to the rest of the genre.
Gatherer seemed to have come out of nowhere for me.
After totally digesting "The wave" of emotive hardcore bands like Defeater and Touche Amore, I thought a couple things; First of all, while shining examples of what an emotive hardcore revival might look like done well, these bands were all immediately accepted no matter what by the majority of their listeners, while "true" fans of the genre might dispute that these bands were much more than a trend that might serve as a catalyst to diving further into an old genre with a lot to offer.
The comparisons to the bands in question, while warranted, should not be the platform for your opinion of THIS band.
From the opening, you're confronted with strong instrumentation and standard emotive hardcore vocal delivery. Lyrically, they open on a cringe worthy low note, "*** the lies you told, you're the best in your mother's eyes". Don't let that line turn you off to the whole album, because they make up for it immediately with something you rarely see from bands like this, clean vocals, extremely well done clean vocals. These moments of respite from the standards of the genre make this band for me. It's a fresh take onsomething that is currently being done to death.
Lyrically this album is a rollercoaster, there are lines here that will redefine what you think a good hardcore one liner sounds like, sometimes followed immediately by a line that makes you want to turn it off and walk away.
Tracks of note, are "Campfires", "108" and "I Have Seen Mountains". These tracks are flawless, and represent what this band could be if they were to walk away from the genre stigmas, don't get me wrong, this isn't groundbreaking stuff, but the intro to Campfires recalls memorable moments from the genre like "Hiding" from Pianos Become the Teeth.
This band has a lot to work on, undoubtedly, but as a second effort from a band in competition with the monolithic status of "The Wave", this album doesn't ride any coattails and is incredibly solid on it's own merits. Taken for what it is, this is an album that shows a band with a lot of room to grow.