WE REVIEW THE NEW GATED ESTATES ALBUM – GATED ESTATES
The eponymous debut album from experimental art-rock outfit Gated Estates is an intricately weaved tapestry of swimming acoustics, orchestral synths and agitated electro-beats. The result is a record that is thoroughly transcendental.
Having received much critical acclaim and attention quickly for their inventive fusion of psychedelic rock, electronica and post-rock, Gated Estates was born in the mountainous wilderness of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) in Wales. Much like the landscape from which they hail, the music of Gated Estates is ever transforming and often awe-inspiring.
The opening track “Bridge” sets the record up for being the weird and wonderful experience that it is. With surreal electronic sounds there is an undeniably futuristic element to the music of Gated Estates as their innovative style of music transports the listener. Serving as the portal that immerses you instantly, Gated Estates prepares you for what is to come with a mellifluous and musically miscellaneous opener.
One of the most captivating aspects of Gated Estates is their ability to create smooth-flowing melodies from such a contrasting mixture of influences. The track “A Letter” is probably the prime example of this skill. The driving, post-punk percussion, jagged guitar on the chorus and spacey electro-funk towards the end of the track somehow all blend seamlessly together.
This impressive ability is undoubtedly due to the detail-oriented approach to music-making of Gated Estates. With highly skilled production allowing the changes of rhythm to flow effortlessly into each other tracks like “The Letter” and the Aphex-Twin meets Radiohead madness that is “High Hopes” work like magic.
Endlessly imaginative and creative in both their instrumentals and lyricism the abstract style of Gated Estates only adds to their charm. With sometimes non-sensical and always unusual lyrics there is a humorous and quirky touch to tracks like the jangling “Shitshow” which reaches a cataclysmic explosion at the end reflecting its story telling of someone losing the plot. Whereas the witty number “Hey Robot” light-heartedly pokes fun at the dystopian future of high tech with an almost anthemic indie rock style.
Some of the absolute highlights of this mind-bending record are found towards the end of the album. The second to last track “Bloodlines” starts with an aggressive, ear-grating noise that then develops into cascading synths whereas the diaphanous closing track “Locked By Promise” is fuelled by arpeggiated synths and climactic electro-waves. Whatever Gated Estates do, its never going to be dull. Creating their own kaleidoscopic mosaic of sound, Gated Estates eponymous record implores you to reach into your inner child and expand your mind.