As on the first Eye Teeth release, WWKD, Gatekeepers' title track subverts typical 4/4 formulas—it's Detroit talkbox electro as reinterpreted by aliens. The Speak & Spell voices are distorted beyond recognition, but the other elements—charging kicks, subtly undulating hi-hats, creepy synths—display a near microhouse-level of precision. The instrumental version of "Gatekeepers" lets the frustrated funk shine free of its bizarre vocal. This robotic weapon tips its hat to early Metroplex, Aux 88, Drexciya and Eye Teeth founders Ectomorph.
"Unscathed" is more in line with the pulsing, hypnotic techno favored by fellow LA residents Droid Behavior, working itself into roiling, bell-laden peaks. "Repose In Dub" stands in opposition to "Gatekeepers," but it's just as good. Put simply, it's an ambient track that wrings as much foreboding atmosphere as possible from one chord. The mission statement for Eye Teeth wants to "see American Techno evolve"; on Gatekeepers, Israel Vines uses his serious knowledge of overlooked strands of midwestern electronic music to go beyond canonical repetition.