In the ever-incestuous Twin Cities music scene, it was only a matter of time before some of the most prominent pop punks in town joined up for a new project. I could easily talk about the band's pedigree (Gateway District comprises Maren Macosko from the Soviettes, Nate Gangelhoff of Banner Pilot and Off With Their Heads, Brad Lokkesmoe of Dear Landlord, and Carrie Bleser of the Salteens), but I'd rather get to the point: The Gateway District bring an accessible style of bouncy pop punk on their debut release, Some Days You Get the Thunder. Sure, it sounds like the members' other projects at times, but it still sounds new and fresh—not just another spinoff from an already tapped creative well.
The songs all hover near the two-minute mark, with alternating lead vocals, group choruses, and a strong rhythm section. Maren Macosko has a very identifiable voice, and it's hard not to think of her former band the Soviettes when she sings. What she lacks in range is countered with harmonies and group vocals that urge the listener to sing along, giving the band a more inclusive feel. The lyrics range among frustration, longing, and anxiety, with the vocals split between Macosko and Bleser, loosely basing who takes the mic on songwriting credits. It's punk rock that relies on melody and catchiness instead of powerful hooks and fast, moshy parts. The lyrics speak of frustration, but it's a frustration that unifies instead of divides, and leaves you feeling as upbeat as the music, ready to face another awkward day.