NJ post-hardcore band Gatherers just released their new LP ( mutilator. ) via No Sleep, and they really swing for the fences on this one. It recalls stuff like Deftones and Glassjaw and it’s got the perfect mix of big hooks, harsh aggression, and crystal-clear production needed to really deliver on what Gatherers are going for. Guest vocal appearances from Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, Bent Knee’s Courtney Swain, and Dan Lambton (rationale., ex-Real Friends) add to the appeal, and Gatherers’ own vocalist Rich Weinberger has both the soaring clean vocals and throat-shredding screams that a record like this calls for.
In conjunction with the release, drummer Adam Cichocki gave us a track-by-track breakdown of the whole LP, and you can stream the record right here and read on for what he had to say…
“massalette” was the first song written for the album; often on our releases things are written chronologically and make their way onto the album organized in a similar fashion. Anthony [Gesa] was dabbling with a disgusting chord progression which became the intro and it just made me feel incredibly tense and had a real sense of urgency and dread about it. I felt it was the perfect way to pop the album off, going from the ugly progression into a pummeling song with just enough room to catch your breath before it beats you down again.
“black marigold” – The first drops of “back marigold” came to life with the idea of creating a mechanical and rumbling pulse for the intro and verses of the song. I didn’t quite know what the instrumentation in charge of driving it should be, but as soon as I heard Siddhu’s [Anandalingam] bass tone rip the set of chords you hear against my drum part blowing out my drum room to no end, I know that would lay the foundation for the song perfectly.
“boxcutter” had been an idea floating around for a long time, originally starting with the chord progression Rob [Talalai] gently hums throughout the song on guitar. It created a sense of intimacy and desolateness all in one. We had the opportunity of our friend Courtney Swain from Bent Knee lend us her voice for the song, mixing her and Rich’s [Weinberger] voice into a somber duet was super rewarding to hear in the finished record.
“honey on the marrow” – I had been toying with the idea of having a song in which the drums feel very linear and stylistically simple, almost like a drum machine rolling through, so when “honey on the marrow” started to come together I was super excited. The song’s foundation rides through most of it and breaks into chaotic sections to juxtapose in a nearly overwhelming way, was a blast to get the guitars grinding to the point of nearly being too much to handle.
“gift horse” was wild to watch unfold. Siddhu brought the chaos inducing bass riff to the table and I immediately started to think of how to make the song feel explosive but oddly controlled. The song felt like it hit hard but I wanted to emphasize it’s initial impact by creating the vibe of it being in another room before it really rips into the intro. The bridge section feels like a train going off the rails and having Geoff Rickly from Thursday take part and bring that part to life was an honor.
“spine” was built to feel like a pause, an intermission before the second half of the album. We had dabbled with how to articulate a song from the original guitar progression and drone Rob had played and it formed into a short and bleak piece, doing just enough to keep the thread going through the album.
“suffocator” – I’ve always wanted to have an “upbeat” Gatherers song, so I’m thrilled we were able to write “suffocator” and push against the grain of what we typically lean to musically. It felt like a bit of an oddball, so when arranging and playing with its structure it took us a bit to not try to shape it into something it’s not; deciding to let it exist as it was, not confine it to any boundaries to “fit” necessarily with the rest of the album. Our friend Dan Lambton from rationale was able to aid us in bringing the song to a familiar place; lending us a voice that many people find synonymous with the style of music this song taps into.
“ad nauseam, i drown” – was a byproduct of my inability to not relax on a drum kit hahaha. I wanted to write something nearly exhausting to play, the 16th note clicks almost feel like scarab beetles tapping on the walls around you. Wanting the ending to feel as incredibly angry and vicious as possible, I had our singer Rich push a mic against his teeth when he screamed the outro – I still get chills listening to it every time.
“last days numbered” is what I would consider the ballad on the record, it starts incredibly somber and secluded and eventually erupts into a booming wave of sound and flow. I had the pleasure of trying to mix in a slew of beautiful viola & violin tracks with an already over-saturated wall of guitars and it makes for a juxtaposition that just pulls at you through the speakers and surrounds you. The ending feels like a building collapsing in on you.
“tourniquet (for luck)” was heavily inspired by Envy on the Coast, the almost Americana-esque riffs on Lowcountry stuck with us and hints of that influence definitely made their way onto the song. Tons of groove, rubbing riffs, pushing Rich to the top of his game and vocal range.
“twelve omaha solemn certainty” – I can remember the first time Rich showed me his original version of “twelve omaha solemn certainty” I was completely in awe. This was probably the first song that he wrote nearly in its entirety from the ground up – all of us aiding in his vision to follow and execute it as best we could. We distinctly intended on the album sounding like the world ending and collapsing around you only to be left with the remnants of that vocal and eerie noises and guitars lingering to carry out the last notes.