The Gamits - Antidote (Cover Artwork)

The Gamits

The Gamits: AntidoteAntidote (2004)
Suburban Home Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In recent years, many styles of music have had a resurgance or birth in popularity. Garage rock made a huge comeback. Screamo, a genre dead since 1999 or so, got "revived" with mixed results. And being political hardcore is as fashionable now as it was in 1984. But when was the last time you hea.

In recent years, many styles of music have had a resurgance or birth in popularity. Garage rock made a huge comeback. Screamo, a genre dead since 1999 or so, got "revived" with mixed results. And being political hardcore is as fashionable now as it was in 1984. But when was the last time you heard a really, really, really good pop-punk record? And I'm talking about one you'll be listening to not just all year long, but for years to come. Every song is a gem in it's own special way, every hook is instantly hummable, every chorus is instantly memorizable, every vocal harmony is instantly orgasmic aurally.

These records don't exist. They're like the Rosetta Stone or Holy Grail of pop-punk; many attempt to find this hidden treasure, all perishing along the way. The Gamits' Antidote isn't that mystic record, but I'll be damned if it's not as close as it's come for me in quite a number of years.

The Gamits' sound, ironically, takes a bit of a darker turn on this record, in tracks like "Curious Vanessa Black" and "Born and Raised Afraid". These are probably the most intense songs musically and lyrically in the trio's catalog. Lyrical images of drinking, smoking, illness, and death are spread throughout the album's eleven tracks, and coupled with this decidedly harder musical edge, many a comparison to Jawbreaker [circa Dear You] could be made. Ironically enough, acoustic album closer "Bridges" could easily be snuck into Jets To Brazil's live set and no one would ever know.

The band still knows how to have fun, however. "Open Window" makes excellent use of handclaps as well as a perfectly placed waltz breakdown. Seriously. I keep imagining a music video for this song taking place at a Greek wedding reception, with the band being the wedding singers, the relatives all doing the clapping part, plates being broken on key cymbal crashes, and the bride and groom waltzing. Honestly, take one listen to the song and you'll understand my vision.

Seemingly gone from the band's list of influences is Weezer. On 2000's Endorsed By You, tracks like "Sorry Song" reeked of Weezer's punchy alt rock. That's not to say that the band has no punch; far from it. They've just matured as musicians. Their ability to write slower songs with just as much kick hasn't diminished, though, with tracks like "Golden Sometimes" sounding like something That Thing You Do's The Wonders would have eventually written for the Playtone catalog, complete with buildups before the chorus, and "oh la la la" background vocals.

It's tough to have a four year hiatus between full-lengths, no matter what type of music you play. People forget about you, no matter how good you are. Being a pop-punk band by nature tends to let people think the music you make is disposable and easily produced. After playing this album virtually nonstop for a number of weeks now, I assure you that while I'm sure many pop-punk bands write their albums as fast as they record them, these tracks are crafted with the love and attention seen in so few bands today. Each one is a winner, whether it be for Chris Fogal's soul-baring lyrics and ripping guitar leads, Scott Swarers' surprisingly unique basslines, or Jason Walker's understated and solid drumming. If you glance to the reviews sidebar right now, you'll see close to a dozen other releases that came out on June 29th, same as this disc. As someone who has heard a majority of those discs, I can tell you that out of all those new releases, this is the one that you'll be listening to years from now, long after trendhoppers and bandwagoneers have disappeared.

Dotted Lines
How To Escape

How To Escape

View e-card and stream five songs here

Stream entire album here


People who liked this also liked:
NOFX - The DeclineAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityThe Gamits - PartsDeath Cab For Cutie - TransatlanticismOperation Ivy - Operation IvyModern Life Is War - Midnight in AmericaDescendents - Everything SucksGreen Day - WarningThe Draft - In a Million Pieces

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thatswack (January 7, 2005)

This a damn good CD, a lot better than their previous.

Anonymous (September 3, 2004)

Best cd to come out this summer

MrLuke (July 29, 2004)

Jason is a damn good drummer

Anonymous (July 26, 2004)

i love the gamits, and i think this is just a further example of how some relative unknown (fogal) can create some of the catchiest and well-crafted songs ever. he said he doesn't want to create for kids anymore, and this record is a perfect example of it. i don't know why they made a video of one of the weakest songs on the cd, or released it as a single.

as far as other reviews are concerned, if you're not into the genre of punk these guys play, why come give it a bad review? i hate country, but i'm not going to go rate every country album 1 star. i just avoid it altogether. fogal is a freaking genius. damn i love that guy.

best track: born and raised afraid.

Anonymous (July 7, 2004)

how do i get the songs on pure volume to stream? all i seem to be able to do is download them.

Anonymous (July 6, 2004)

im just glad its not another Thursday or Thrice sounding band.

Anonymous (July 6, 2004)

talk about an annoying voice

notfeelingcreative (July 6, 2004)

Great pop punk record, nothing life-altering, but fun nonetheless!

Anonymous (July 6, 2004)

LETS HEAR IT FOR JOHN EDWARDS!!! FUCK YEAH!!!! The Gamits were a lot better live when they had looven and forrest, but this lineup is good. Fogal is a pop punk godsend, and i'm not just saying that because we spoon all night.

Anonymous (July 5, 2004)

The purevolume stuff sucks real bad...and that song is their first single? That is bad news.


SOYBOMB (July 4, 2004)

Sorry for my poorly translated malaysian, I meant to say "This is the way reviews should be done"


SOYBOMB (July 4, 2004)

These are reviews should be done.


hey_sailor (July 4, 2004)

This band really comes across sounding like Green Day at times...not a bad thing at all. Almost like if The Travoltas had Green Day's baby...

Anonymous (July 4, 2004)

speaking of rad bands from boulder, there are a bunch of them and you should check them out

Anonymous (July 4, 2004)

I think the Gamits are a perfect example of being influenced by "non punk" bands and being able to spin out their own definition of what good music is to them and the form of punk music. Urgency, honesty, key changes, great melodies and hooks, and growth define their legacy. People are obsessed with labels. "The Gamits are pop-punk, write sad songs, happy songs, big in Japan, sound commercial, overrated, blah-blah-blah". I just think they write amazing songs, regardless of what you want to label them.

This album is a change from their previous efforts, but they still hold true to their defined sound. I personally enjoy their earlier material way more (at the point of obsession), but I can appreciate their newer stuff as well. I think "How to Escape" is their best song yet to date. I still wished they were writing faster material, but its absurd to condemn a band for changing and growing.

At the end of the day, regardless of how many units they push or the fanbase they attain, the Gamits write inspiring and meaningful music that can and will stand the test of time.


opivykid (July 4, 2004)

Damn... I guess I was expecting too much from this, as I really can't get into any of the songs...

Anonymous (July 4, 2004)

Why does everyone talk about Japan? Who gives a shit? If you aint big in the States I guess you go to Japan. That sucks. Oh well. Bye Gemits.

Anonymous (July 4, 2004)

Just listened to it on purveolume. This is pure CRAP. Sorry. That one song Dotted Lines and Golden Sometimes were OK but most of it failed to hook me in the first minute and a half. This is what i would listen to if i was retarded,

Anonymous (July 4, 2004)

This is a great band and this record is really good. and if you think they're another Midtown pop-punk act, you're a fucking moron. the gamits know how to write lyrics and some really good music to go along with it. anyways, is anyone else pissed off that some of the lyrics are IMPOSSIBLE to read in the booklet that comes with the cd? i mean its some cool photography an shit but come on. i really like reading lyrics and possibly my favorite song's lyrics (Born and Raised Afraid) are impossible to read. plyrics.com doesnt even have the Gamits listed on the site so i cant even check it out there. if anyone can show me where to find the lyrics so that i can actually READ them, let me know.

Anonymous (July 4, 2004)

I have seen the Gamits grow from a band playing their first shows to playing in front of huge crowds in Japan. At the core of everything they have done, Chris Fogal, has always written incredible songs. Sure their older stuff was definitely more pop-punk, but you always knew that there was a lot more potential with his songwriting. Had Antidote come out a year and a half after "Small Price to Pay", it might not have been as much as a departure of their earlier material. But put some through 4 years of difficult experiences and reflection and it is no wonder that their new songs take on a darker theme. And the person that is upset that many pop-punk bands are writing darker material, the Gamits are doing this not out of trends, but out of life experiences. Sure if everything was puppy dogs and ice cream, I am sure the Gamits new album would reflect that. But when you really live life, it isn't always sunshine and bubblegum.

This record definitely references pop punk genius of old, but it has moved on to something that is decidedly modern. This is a record that I know that I will listen to for years and it is my hope that close minded individuals will be able to look at it for what it is, just an amazing, well written album.

There is no posturing, no eyeliner, no white belts; just amazing songs that reflect true life experiences.

Give it a listen. YOu can listen to the whole album online at purevolume.


Anonymous (July 4, 2004)

Not usually being on for pop-punk i received this disc almost am onth and a half ago it is suprisingly good for a pop-punk album and probably they only pop punk cd coming with me on the roadtrip this summer.

Anonymous (July 3, 2004)

notice that no matter what anyone says on this site, everyone still gave it a lot of stars. go Gamits! it should still be about the music!

MrLuke (July 3, 2004)

Good Review Scott!!!!

Anonymous (July 3, 2004)

the key to the Gamits is not necessarily short term gratification - it's the way these songs stick in your head for hours, days, weeks, and so forth. Simply, Chris Fogal knows how to string a powerful melody together and not realy on a shamelss studio trick to do it.

Anonymous (July 3, 2004)

if people who like talking shit to other posters on a site like this moved where they were popular, well, then you all would hopefully kill yourselves.

and ps- just because some guy doenst like the Gamits doesnt mean he likes Korn and Limp Bizkit. I wonder what is in your closet.

Anonymous (July 3, 2004)

It's BIZkit, Cholo!

Anonymous (July 3, 2004)

that guy talking shit is a fucking moron. the person that wrote the review is from Punknews you dumbass! i guess wherever a band is popular, they should move there. if it was like that, i guess Korn, Limp Biscuit, and Godsmack would all live at your house. idiot.

Anonymous (July 3, 2004)

To the guy below, waitta write the same exact thing on every news site that reports on the gamits. Get over yourself.

Anonymous (July 3, 2004)

i wonder who from suburban home wrote this review. the gamits had their change, but failed. maybe they should move to fucking japan then we wouldnt have to hear about them.

Anonymous (July 3, 2004)

After listening 3 songs on purevolume, I have the feeling that it's the perfect summer pop punk album for me.

Anonymous (July 3, 2004)

it's not "dark" like a gay ass Alkaline Trio record, or stupid AFI. no grave robbers and goblins here. it's just not about how cute pop punk girls are. god forbid.

xmidipunkbastardx (July 3, 2004)

i've seen tehm live in retz...
as a matter of fact i did support for them (as redhead army taking over the planet just for the sake of it) and i even "interviewed" them...

hm... why the fuck am i even writing this? whatever... the band's great and so is the record. i don't know a lot of their older stuff though...

maverick (July 3, 2004)


I didn't really dig the CD the first couple listens, but it's grown on me rather immensely [as is probably rather obvious]. Give it a few more listens.


bemused (July 3, 2004)

Probably because it is generic


sciulli (July 3, 2004)

I just listened to three songs off of PureVolume and this really does nothing for me. I remember downloading some of their older stuff awhile ago and liking it. This just comes off as rather generic for some reason.

maverick (July 3, 2004)


By "political hardcore," I was referring to the new breed of bands along the lines of Rise Against and Strike Anywhere. I should've thrown in the word "melodic" between "political" and "hardcore," but oh well, can't go back now.


gladimnotemo (July 3, 2004)

Suburban Home is promoting this album like it's the end of the world.

(Everyone else posted twice....so...why not?)

gladimnotemo (July 3, 2004)

Anything the Buzzcocks do, even their worst song, makes all pop-punk look bad.

notaclevername (July 3, 2004)

oh, and i can hear a pretty strong cheap trick influence in this.

notaclevername (July 3, 2004)

personally, i don't think hardcore is nearly as political now as it was in 1984, and that's part of the problem...hxc bands seem more interested in fitting more breakdowns into a song than in getting a substantive message across (not that breakdowns aren't cool if tastefully done, but you know what i mean...)

Anonymous (July 2, 2004)

And I think the Buzzcock's last easily beats this.


Anonymous (July 2, 2004)

All of the pop-punk bands are going "dark". It's pathetic, so plastic.


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