Throughout this review, just think “Really great punk pop, but so much more.” Coming from America’s Scandinavia, Gateway District are Midwestern poetic. Of being born into failing industrial towns, down to specific streets as familiar as veins on forearms. Compelling, bubbling harmonies and backing vocals. Dark skies. Long winters. A deep appreciation for spring and summer. Constant renewal. What gives Gateway District repeated listens is their yearning, their ontology. They’re concerned and dealing with the nature of being; not just beers, breakups, boohoos, and yahoos! But some deep thinking and placement: “You think you’ve got it all figured out/ that’s when the bottom drops out / looking for perfect’s gonna fail you.” Perfect’s Gonna Fail is an album that sounds like a shared relationship between four musicians. In fact, its strength is in the lattice of overlapping types of relationships the band examines: From memories of high school to the drifting-away of friends by the passage of time or time stolen away by addictions. Records like these make me proud to self-identify as a DIY punk. So smart, rockin’, and meaningful.
–todd (It’s Alive)