Cleveland’s PLEASURE LEFTISTS return with “The Gate”, a new ten song album of cathartic, riveting post-punk excellence. The long-running group, comprised of veteran players in the Clevo scene, have turned in what is arguably their best recorded output – and the first since 2015’s “The Woods of Heaven”. For “The Gate”, PL ventured out to Portland, OR in March 2019 to record on tape with Stan Wright (Arctic Flowers) – and the results are massive. Those familiar with previous PL material will immediately feel reacquainted with the group’s masterful arrangements and cool, confident execution – a style that draws from the early British post-punk classics on labels like 4AD and Factory Records, but retains an organic, original sound that few contemporary acts harness. While “The Gate” undoubtedly benefits from the best studio sound of any PL release to date, the musicianship is what makes this album feel like an absolutely classic piece of work. The tones are perfect – almost as though Greg Sage dialed them in for a Wipers record. You’ll immediately be taken by Haley Morris’s vocal range and projection, which shines across the entire album and is absolute next level work. The sheer artistic quality of the songwriting is propelled along in perfect rhythm, as the guitar and bass play off of each other wonderfully, beginning the album with “In Dreams”, which sets the tense and urgent nature of the tracks that follow. “The Return” dials the pace back slightly, allowing room for one of Morris’s most memorable vocal patterns. As “Phenomenon” emerges from cold drone to begin the second half of the album, it quickly becomes apparent that PL have crafted a master work here. “Dancing in the Dark” could be a lost Homostupids track adapted to PL’s sensibilities, followed along by the charging title track, and the gripping closer, “The Sign”. Pleasure Leftists leave us with a phenomenal batch of tracks on “The Gate” – a gleaming, timeless piece of work.