25 Sep 2021
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Gatekeepers - Single Review: Always a Rebel, Never a Rogue

09 Jun 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Gatekeepers may be a new name to most of you, but this New Plymouth quartet have managed to secure the opening slot in Hamilton for the Devilskin and Kora show, so they have already started to gain some attention and based on this single one can hear why. The band was only formed earlier this year by guitarist/singer Jeremy Donoghue, rhythm guitarist Sean Phillips and bassist Mat Pipe, since when they have been writing and recording tracks before sending them to the UK to be mixed by Adam Wain. Drummer Jack May joined a little later in the piece after hearing the first demo, and now the quartet are poised to fly their post-hardcore/punk flag high. All of the guys have been playing in bands for the last 10 years, so while they are new at this, they are also old hands.

Musically they are mixing together two of my favourite melodic punk bands, namely The Offspring and Bowling For Soup, with plenty of high energy and stacks of riffs and real pop hooks. The rhythm section keeps it tight, with the bass more to the fore than is often the case, sat right in with the guitars as opposed to staying with the drums.  If ever there was a “bouncy up and down” song, then this is it as the guys move the speed around, so that at times it feels more like a shake the body experience and others a full pogo. This is melodic punk with real soul, feeling vital and full of energy. The only way to listen to it is with the volume way up high and a great big smile on the face: it really is just so much fun. The use of some rough vocals only adds to the smoothness the rest of the time.

So far the band have only released a couple of singles, but they are planning to put out an EP later this year, and if they have got this far so quickly then surely that is going to be worth hearing.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

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