The Gamits – Antidote (CD)

Sounding like Billie Joe Armstrong’s half-brother, The Gamits’ vocal assault mixes well with the emo stylings of Chris’ guitar work. Nearly together for a decade, The Gamits show that they really know what they are doing, arranging the tracks on “Antidote” with a care that would even amaze the kids from Jawbreaker or Samiam. The building intensity of a track like “Curious Vanessa Black” and the ability of the band to restrain it, creating a high-energy yet emotionally chock-full track, is a monument to the talent of The Gamits. “Curious Vanessa Black” also showcases Scott’s bass lines, emotive and earthy, and a perfect connector to the two sections of the song. Eliciting the spirit of late sixties rock (think “House of the Rising Sun”) in “Open Window”, The Gamits do their best in shaking off any labels for their incredibly diverse style of music. Catchy, “How To Escape” would seem perfect on some of the pop-punk gems of the early nineties, a mid-album track on “Dookie”, “Blue Room”, or “Weezer”.

The Queers, who The Gamits are currently on tour with, are not unfamiliar with moving effortlessly through genres. With this nod, The Gamits are finally getting the U.S. exposure they should, after years of trying to break though on this side of the pond. “Antidote” is the rare example of a completely solid album, where no track lets a listener down; rather, “Antidote” might be the most solid album of the year, racing neck and neck with the Soviettes’ second album. Track after track would be just as comfortable on Clearchannel radio just as they would be on the smallest pirate radio station, and it is that fluidity and wide-reach of appeal that make The Gamits such an amazing band .

However, and this is just a small point, there are times on this CD where one just wonders exactly why The Gamits couldn’t have came up with better lyrics. Case in point: “Your nails are stronger painted red/ The color of your bed”. I guess even Superman has eir’s off days. Mad scientists at their best (or is that worst), The Gamits mix together a little of the green and red potions to make a bevy of different styles and sounds, yet still reining them in enough that listeners can still identify them as Gamits tracks. Check The Gamits out, if you are a fan of solidly-written music, and you won’t be disappointed.

Top Tracks: Dotted Lines, Curious Vanessa Black

Rating: 8.0/10

The Gamits – Antidote / 2004 Suburban Home / 11 Tracks / / / Reviewed 18 July 2004

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