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The City Gates – Age of Resilience

by Rémi

A post-punk musical door opens in Montreal with the excellent quartet The City Gates. After a debut album, Collapse (2013) as well as Forever Orbiter (2018) and an EP Checkpoint Charlie (2017), the band treats us to their latest release, Age of Resilience. Released in June 2021 on the Velouria Recordz  in collaboration with Icy Cold Records, the album is available in vinyl, compact disc, cassette and digital formats.

Age of Resilience is a vast musical canvas of light and shadow. The very reverberated ambiences offer a great sound amplitude to the eleven tracks of the album and plunge the listener in a post-punk universe impregnated with shoegaze and coldwave (or “post-punk-gaze,” according to the quartet’s own words). The melodies are simple, but of an impressive effectiveness that undulating guitars halo of splendid arpeggios. The vocals are distant, pure and vaporous while the eternal bass/drums duo forms the cogs of an unflappable rhythmic mechanism. Fuzz, delay and monumental reverb effects sculpt the sound universe of Age of Resilience.

If the first three tracks, “Nowhere Nagasaky,” “The Pyre” and “Cape of Good Hope” install a very bright atmosphere, the central part of the album is darker. “Tending A Dead Woman’s Garden,” the fourth track, takes us into a more nervous rhythm formed by fast riffs with reduced note intervals. Without being able to explain why, there are certain musics able to plunge you in a second state. Of course, it is very subjective, but in my opinion, “Roman Empire” is one of them. It definitely is my favorite track from Age of Resilience!

Some propitious changes take place from a sonic and rhythmic point of view for drums. In “Siegfried 1969,” drums give a “retro” side to the track with their electronic sounds. Its patterns, until then rather static and repetitive, are given new reliefs with the accents of “Claming Race.” The rhythm of “Foghorn’s Cry” is radically different from the other ten tracks on the album. As the final track, the title is a stratospheric conclusion to Age of Resilience, the culmination of the ambiences characterizing the aesthetic of this album.

With its eleven tracks, Age of Resilience, the latest album of The City Gate offers us a little trip to the heart of the music of the 80s and 90s with a deliciously modern sound. Fans of The Chameleons, Slowdive, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Sisters of Mercy or Love and Rockets will undoubtedly enjoy listening to it. For the others, we highly recommend that you immerse yourself in!

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