Over the course of the last 2 years, Austin-based quintet Surly Gates has worked to craft a sound that defies easy genre classification, but their DNA is undeniably rock and roll. The songs exude a classic, decidedly American sound, pulling from garage, desert, west coast and southeast sounds as inspiration and blending them into a shimmering, harmony-cloaked, reel-to-reel mosaic. Founding members James Webber and Jonathan Lennartz wandered into an abandoned compound in East Austin with a handful of dusty, ramshackle, just-north-of-Mexico songs, and set up some microphones. Rusty Boyer soon joined them to begin the steeping and steering process with more guitar work and vocal harmony technique developed during a rust-belt upbringing. A short time later they were joined by Marshall Owen, who contributed bass arrangements, more harmonies and a mind-bent Mason-Dixon influence. Recently, David Leland Horton joined the group as drummer and harmonizer, fulfilling the prophecy of the band’s nomadic legacy and completing the lineup. Surly Gates creates a hazy atmosphere with darker subject matter, ramshackle sensibilities and deceptively detailed arrangements. The songs are murky gems, intimate and substantial, delivered without irony and devoid of forced lyrics or starry-eyed naivete. The band captures an honest, unique, lived-in sound that outshines with craftsmanship and depth.