Album Review: China Gate’s Compelling New EP
Another five-piece indie rock band hailing from Memphis released an EP last week. You might think, “ho hum.” But in this case, you’d be wrong. The band is China Gate and their new offering, a four single release titled Good Grief, is well worth a listen.
The title track is a feel good, harmonious song that grabs the listener’s attention on the first few chords and holds it throughout. The violin solos and guitar riffs are joyful. And when combined with some other stringed instruments that this writer could not distinguish, this song really pops. This is a sing-along and a dance-along rolled together into a very pleasant package.
On “It’s a Wonderful Life”, the band delivers a purposeful and upbeat song reminiscent of The Cure. These guys are craftsmen producing a wall of sound that is truly refreshing and invigorating. With “Covered in Flames,” the band shows real depth with a controlled, soulful ballad and lyrics that appear to be revealing the darkness of depression and mental anguish in unrequited love.
Vocalist Tiger Adams shared, “The songs definitely deal with negativity and mental illness, but if you hear it and think it’s a batch of songs celebrating my sadness, I think you missed the whole point of the EP. It deals a lot with taking stock of my life so far as a twenty-one year-old and finding ways to get better.”
China Gate closes Good Grief with “Carry It Anyway.” It boasts an excellent melody with a repetitive, triumphant pledge that we all want to hear: regardless of how many times you fall down on me, “I’m gonna carry you anyway.”
China Gate may be a relatively new band on the scene but you could never tell that from this music set. This positive, inviting, congruent sound is something many seasoned bands strive for but something that seems to come naturally to this band. I’m confident that this is just the beginning of a very long and fruitful career.
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