Gateway District

Some Days You Get the Thunder

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It's usually a bad sign when the album title sounds like an in-joke. Then there's the supergroup problem: when a band seems to be a side project for all of its members (the Gateway District includes current or former members of American Monsters, Salteens, Rivethead, and Banner Pilot, among other bands), it's reasonable to expect that you're going to hear something less than everyone's best efforts. But on their debut album, the Gateway District manage to sound like the post-punk professionals they are and at the same time to maintain a salutary level of relaxed noisiness. At their tightest and hookiest they bring to mind middle-period Hüsker Dü ("Song for Sue") or Rancid ("September"). When they loosen up the result is sometimes catchy ("Lake St. Is for Suckers," complete with shout-along chorus) and sometimes not (the brief and chaotic "Highway Song"). Something about the two cowpunk tracks feels inevitable, but that doesn't mean they were a great idea. Still, overall, this album sounds like what it is: a quartet of experienced and street-smart punks, all of them older than your average alt-rocker, having a great time.

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