March 21, 2016

Premiere: Pleasure Gap's Ambitious, Ranging Scatter

Pleasure Gap -- Scatter (detail)

Manchester, NH indie rock five Pleasure Gap returns next week with its third full-length, an eight-song set impressive in its ambition and range. The collection is called Scatter, the music it contains bucks simplistic categorization, and we are pleased to premiere the entire thing for you today via the embed below.

Scatter commences with the mournful epic "Therapist," which deliberately interlaces guitar and bass lines, cycles through thoughtful tempo and rhythm changes, and detours almost too briefly for an arresting, harmonic-spangled interlude. Indeed, the compelling bones of Scatter are its complex arrangements, which eschew standard verse-chorus-verse construction in favor of rambling forays. Here and elsewhere across the album, fronter Ryan Egan's high and lonesome vocals slide around his range, sometimes depositing mumbles a la Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock, and at others delivering adenoidal expostulations after the fashion of Alec Ounsworth. The result is a record with notable range, as adept at delivering the garagey, Pavement-ings of "Merkle" (that's no typographical error referencing the German Chancellor, but rather the last name of Pleasure Gap bassist and co-founder Sean Merkle), as it is the vestigially metal, melodramatic "Dumpster Dreams." But the track that shines brightest on Scatter is the smoothed-out, mid-tempo ballad "Murder Me Gently," which bobs and weaves along to prominent slide guitar, swaying gently -- as one would expect -- in subdued, heartfelt choruses that take on increasing color in the final minute via multiplying layers of moving, melodic, low-octave guitar work.

Midnight Werewolf releases Scatter March 29 as the third and final monthly installment of the label's Triple Threat series of cassette releases; it is available for pre-order now in a limited edition of 100 light pink cassettes in hand-crafted, hand-numbered cases, which come bundled with stickers and pins. Scatter will also be available as a digital download. Pleasure Gap plays on a particularly hot bill next month at O'Brien's in Boston's Allston Rock City enclave, a benefit for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The show transpires April 23 and also features hitmakers of the day and Clicky Clicky faves Funeral Advantage, Burglary Years and Kitner; full event details are right here, and Pleasure Gap's complete slate of upcoming shows is listed below. Pleasure Gap's first long-player Tropical Barn was self-released in 2013 [link]; a sophomore set Cream Wave arrived last summer [link].

Pleasure Gap: Bandcamp | Facebook

03.23 -- Manchester, NH -- Fuzz Hut
04.15 -- Providence, RI -- AS220
04.17 -- Dover, NH-- Wrong Brain HQ
04.23 -- Boston, MA -- O'Brien's
05.06 -- Portland, ME -- Geno's
05.07 -- Winooski, VT -- Waking Windows
05.08 -- Albany, NY -- The Tree House
05.09 -- Brooklyn, NY-- Palisades
05.29 -- Manchester, NH-- Fuzz Hut

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