Looking for a band that can bring you the authentic ‘80s dance floor sound you crave? The Gathering conjure up shimmers of bands like Magazine, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Echo and the Bunnymen. ReTransmission is well-named, alluding to sound waves bouncing around the universe through time and back again, and The Gathering’s dark wave / goth pop songs hit just the right frequency.
The band originally formed in 1986 with two members from local heroes, Cast of Thousands, who had their own hit in 1983 with “On the QT.” This new release is a remix of four songs The Gathering recorded and produced with the talented Glen Reely (ex-French Letters). “Let It Shine” and “Hunter” received heavy airplay on CiTR 101.9FM after the original release in 1988. Now the band returns, with two entrancing new videos and all the original members: Peter Burns (vocals / bass), Gary Economy (guitar / vocals), Jeff Pawson (synth / vocals) and Dave Goodman (drums). The Gathering sounds better than ever with original songs that combine romanticism, moody atmospherics and up-tempo beats.
A kind of alchemy goes into creating a sound; in this case, it is the combination of the musicians, the production and a genuine love for and mastery of all aspects of the genre and era. The guitar is central and soars through “Let It Shine,” a sweet-at-the-core love song addressed to a perfect heartthrob. As good songs can, this one lets the listener imagine that person is You. The singer’s voice is low, sexy and resonant, think the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch. This is mood music to throw on before a night out, perfect for the ride there, and perfect out at the club.
Even the downbeat song, “This Hell” isn’t depressing, because the band manages throughout the EP to evoke a resonance that is mysterious, shadowy, yet essentially positive. Atmospheric keyboards and driving, locked in bass and drums lend layering that will let you work it all out on the dance floor. Then, before you want it to end, it’s over. Four songs that will leave you wanting more, just in time for the darkest time of year. Pull on your black and revel.