It’s not often we see a band so youthful with such a firm grasp on the power of nostalgia. The ages of the members of The Departure range from seventeen to twenty-three, and this noisy high-energy group have harnessed all the velocity of early 2000s pop-punk, while giving it a sometimes metal, sometimes keyboard infused twist of their own. Hailing from Salt Lake City, The Departure have already opened for the likes of Phantogram and Cold War Kids, and are carving out a name for themselves.
A bit Sum 41, a dash of Finger Eleven (notably on second track, “Incompetence”, which has a lyrical maturity laced with anger), The Departure are frenetic and addictive on their latest EP, Gateways. “For the Best” opens the album with a long instrumental before the vocals come in, and introduces the sound of the band, but it isn’t until “Gateways” that their originality really shines. The keyboard melody adds an innovative spark and drives the song into hard rock territory. From here the unique edges continue. “Forget Everything” uses a bouncy synth line to juxtapose the screaming vocals for a complete experience, while “The Sea Part II” brings digital sounds and vocals into the creation of a sonic world.
The EP takes a dramatic shift on “Lonely Eyes”, which satisfies a longstanding pop-punk staple: the emotional love song. There is a skillful intelligence to the harmonizing of vocals and guitar weaving. “Thoughts” picks the pace right back up with screaming overtop singing, the entire energy of the album harnessed, and ending with a fade out.