Gallows - 'Gallows'
Gallows’ third album was always going to be hit or miss; It is rare a band can loose it’s front man and come out the other side unscathed. Gallows’ self titled effort is 11 tracks of great hardcore, which not only breaks into new territory, but also pays homage to the early beginnings of the ‘angry’ genre.
The giant elephant in the room is the strikingly obvious vocal difference between cockney departee Frank Carter, and the Canadian throat of McNeill. While at first this stark contrast is disconcerting, it definitely takes a back seat as you are pulled into a set of songs which are crafted with more direction, and apparently more anger, than previous efforts.
Opening track, ‘Victim Culture’ does a great job at setting the tone for the record, with a disembodied voice proclaiming “do you think they’re out to get you...are you living off of pills”. Freedom, anarchy and the darker sides of society are all discussed (read: yelled at you) while distorted guitars, a sludgy bass and driving punk drums echo in the background. Before you have time to catch your breath, ‘Last June’, an anti-authoritarian take on the riots which occurred in June of 2011, has you screaming “You represent everything I hate” aimed squarely at the unjust actions of Police men and women during the London riots. Lead single, ‘Outsider Art’ is the least abrasive song on the album, and will likely bring in hordes of crossover fans from punk rock, with an anthemic chorus following an apocalyptic war cry “the sun is exploding we’re heading for war!”.
Gallows have created a great hardcore album, with the punk ethos of the genre resonating loudly in the themes, presented with the music backing to match. Some of the more progressive tracks highlight where they may be headed, and the old school tracks, where they have been. A self-titled album defining the path of the band.