Myth & Judgement
Rosemary Gates

by Jason Hoffman myth

      The fates have not been kind to Rosemary Gates. Five years ago this decade-old group of veterans sold through two pressings of their debut release, Shine, had successful singles on local radio and saw rising attendance at shows both local and otherwise – not to mention a number of labels eyeballing the band for their ability to “move units.” Call it capricious public tastes or the effect of the events of 9-11, but nothing ever came together. Time off was taken, with a few members finding other priorities, but now Rosemary Gates are back with Myth & Judgment, determined to leave their mark upon the local, regional and national music scenes.

      The result is sure to please patient fans and win new converts. Both the opening and closing tracks set an atmospheric scene, with moody instrumental jams woven with spoken word audio clips. “Gnosis” breaks the spell with monstrously energetic riffs that quickly subside to a sultry verse which eventually gives way to a passage of symphonic strings christened with a Middle-Eastern melody. The sibling to “Gnosis” is “People,” an emotion-packed song that grows from a whisper to epic proportions, layering strings in a most masterful way. Although its six-minute length may make it difficult for some to digest, it is definitely worth the investment. “Home Again” is much shorter but no less enthralling, being as it is a delightful mix of chunky guitars, two-part vocal harmonies and a dark but delicious melody.

      Despite their thorough knowledge of hard rock, Rosemary Gates know the importance of appealing to the gentler gender. To that end they include a nice share of power ballads in the vein of Creed, Seal or Dave Matthews Band. “Broken Waves” is a modern rock ballad full of bright tones, layered vocals and a melody that would easily find a home on the radio, while “You” is nearly acoustic with sparse, clean guitars and hand percussion set amidst a swirling sea of hypnotic, flowing vocals that are guaranteed to make knees melt. In “Lady” the band pulls out all the romantic stops, delivering a passionate ode custom designed to get bodies slowly swaying to the gentle beat, all the while maintaining a smooth and appealing melody.

      Myth & Judgment is a true product of Fort Wayne, with recording done at Ozone Recording Company, at the bands' home studio and at Sweetwater Sound, who also added the final polish to make the album sonically equal with anything put out by national labels. With songs of such high quality and a definite appeal for people of all gender persuasions, it’s only a matter of time before lightening strikes twice. On December 8 Rosemary Gates will be celebrating the release of Myth & Judgment at Columbia Street West, with performances by the band and special guest Sfumato. Be there to see the genesis of the myth or be judged.

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