The title of the debut LP from Montreal’s Gulfer suggests that they remain questioning what’s been thrown their way. You could certainly read it that way, given the laundry list of influences and contemporaries owing to their spit-shined set of math-laden emo tendencies. The odd time signatures are here, as are the instrumental fluctuations that oscillate like sine waves. Vocalist Vincent Ford serves as the angular slice to this undulating pattern, alternating between a grainy yelp and a soft, almost sighed hush. The breadth of ground covered on What Gives travels between the frenetic (see the explosive intent barreling forth on “Getting Hit by Parked Cars”) and the fading (the included instrumentals “Post-Molly” and “Altalalaval” boast a melodic calmness not unlike anything in the American Football emo songbook). What remains in the balance after the quenching chapter-close on the parting thought “Almost Sterling” isn’t just a desire for more pages in the Gulfer story, but a hunt for untraveled terrain within the band’s impressive repertoire.
What Gives will be released digitally and on cassette via Texas is Funny Records on June 30th. You can pre-order a copy of the release here.