The Gamits - Parts (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Gamits

Parts (2010)

Paper + Plastick / Suburban Home

It's been six years since the critically acclaimed Antidote was released, and five years since pop-punk favourites the Gamits disbanded in 2005. That's a fair bit of time for a band to be dormant, and though I'm not exactly sure what happened in the group's downtime, it clearly took its toll on singer Chris Fogal's voice. Fogal now sounds like the lovechild of One Man Army's Jack Dalrympie and Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba, and while that may not have fit in well on the band's previous material, it absolutely works wonders on Parts.

You see, Parts is a dark record. I mean dark. Both musically and lyrically, the album covers some pretty grim territory, but it's also a very broad scope of topics. "Love Suicidal" is a heartbreaking song from the perspective of a lesbian struggling with her sexuality in a homophobic society, while "No One Cares So Why Should I" discusses Fogal dropping his vegetarianism and eating meat again for the first time in over a decade. And while Fogal has denied in interviews that it is a concept record, the tracklisting almost lends itself to one. Similar to the Lawrence Arms' Oh! Calcutta!, the album starts with its characters in grim circumstances, only to find things getting even more desperate and gloomy with each passing song. However, about three-quarters into the disc, a faint feeling of hope starts to creep into the songs as the narrator takes a positive point of view, ultimately leaving the listener with some much-needed optimism. It is the emotional journey that Parts takes its listener on that is among its strongest features, and really creates a cohesive record despite the variety of themes.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Gamits album without some huge hooks, and Parts is not lacking in that department. "This Shell" features some great "whoa-oh"s that follow its chorus, while "Delusional" will make you want to dance along as Fogal quips great lines like "Go down to the record store, buy a copy of Nebraska and rip that shit off best you can. Congratulations! Now you're just like them! You're delusional."

If you're looking for another Antidote, this isn't it; Parts is darker, faster, and louder. That's not to say it's better or worse--just that it is a completely different record, but one well worth your time. Taking time off clearly worked some magic for this three-piece, as they've managed to put out what may just be the best pop-punk album of the year.

Stream the full album on the band's profile.