Salt Lake City punk rock band The Departure released back in November 2015 their EP titled Gateways. Members Ryan DeBlanc (vocals, guitar), Max Hedding (bass), Gavin Allein (drums), Aidan McDonald (guitar), and Dylan Proesch (keyboards, vocals) believe that music can help people in many ways, and so they strive to create songs that listeners can identify with and relate to, be it in good times and bad.
A couple of the tracks seem to be directly inspired by Green Day. “For the Best”, just like most of the numbers in this set, features a long instrumental beginning, albeit the longest one (a little more than a third of the running time). A fun, energetic, headbanging song with typical punk rock ingredients, it features the same talented drumming and guitar work as the other numbers on the EP. “Thoughts” is a little more toned down and has an unusually short instrumental beginning compared to its companions.
One of the most melodic tracks is “The Sea, Pt. II” which channels another well-known name. Just like Evanescence, it is grandiose (mostly because of the organ-like keyboard work) and begs for an accompanying set of visuals. It begins with electronically distorted vocals, almost as if someone is talking underwater.
Although not quite as intense as “The Sea, Pt. II”, three of the other numbers on Gateways remain quite intense and angst-ridden. The chugging guitars in “Incompetence” make it one of the most intense songs on the EP. The title track uses a piano to add complexity to the angst, making it more approachable and less dismissive. “Forget Everything” is filled with repressed energy that is begging to be released.
Different from all the others but still fitting in quite well is the mid-tempo “Lonely Eyes”, which sets the mood with a plucked acoustic guitar. A very melodic, gentle, and soothing number, it features only two acoustic guitars, the main vocals, and backing ones. However different it may be, “Lonely Eyes” still manages to fit in quite well with the other songs on the EP, while remaining the most memorable one. Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud. More information is available on their official website or on their Facebook page.