Gulfer’s inception in December of 2011 feels like it occurred a lifetime ago. But that’s how it’s supposed to feel when the local DIY band is coming up on their sixth release and fifth international tour. Bands like Gulfer simply aren’t supposed to last in this world, and they’ve come too long a way to go unnoticed. Perhaps that’s why they just signed to Topshelf Records with their second full length record, ‘Dog Bless’, due in early 2018.
Predictably, the new full length from the Montreal-based quartet is their best work yet. It features a trio of three song movements, each punctuated with electronic compositions much unlike the band’s previous work. At 12 songs deep, ‘Dog Bless’ appears ambitious next to its 2015 predecessor ‘What Gives’. But the final product matches the ambition in its eloquent delivery of anthemic, sensibly technical emo.
The album’s ooze of emotion-packed indie rock is so enticing and beautifully executed, with impactful lyrics being matched by energetic guitar riffs, both of which purvey a feel of melancholy to shadow the album’s deeper significance.
-The Alternative on "Dog Bless"
Full of intricately timed patterns and riffs, the song breathes with swirling melodies that are realized by multiple instruments. Whenever the vocals ride over top the always moving guitars there is a slight bit of permanence in the surroundings. Even if the song is about feeling nothing during boredom, there is an awareness that escapes the band’s psyche with their wonderfully syncopated parts.
-New Noise on "Fading"
There are so many fun little bits to love here. Tracks like ‘Fading‘ and ‘Baseball‘ bring out the sunshine twiddles for all to see, while ‘Be Father‘ and ‘Babyshoe‘ are full throttle, packed with instrumentals to make you sweat.
-Birthday Cake for Breakfast on "Dog Bless"
Dog Bless feels like a new chapter for Gulfer, that sense of recklessness they manage so well curtailed with just the right amount of restraint, just the right balance between the dark and light. “Baseball” is indicative of that – but it also slams; those twinkling guitars, those guttural vocals, as interesting and invigorating as ever before.
-Gold Flake Paint