For Fans Of
2006 was the year that Gallows dropped their debut full-length, Orchestra Of Wolves. Appearing amongst a sea of media-generated hype and critical acclaim, the record was one of the few (in recent times) that survived the initial fanfare and proved it to be a worthwhile release. Fast forward to 2009 and the Hertfordshire five-piece have delivered album number two, which features some of the band’s most diverse and at the same time, cohesive work yet.
Grey Britain paints a rather bleak picture of modern-day life in the UK, where tales of street violence, domestic troubles and drug abuse are becoming more and more commonplace. Led by Frank Carter’s snarling vocal delivery, Gallows have taken the strongest parts of their earlier works and fused them together with a stronger sense of melody and overall musicianship.
If you had to choose one song that exemplifies what Grey Britain has to offer then look no further than “London Is The Reason”. Starting with a Converge-esque guitar part, it’s not long before the track kicks into top gear courtesy of the band’s tight rhythm section and balls to the wall riffing. “Leeches” continues on in a similar fashion, that is until the track’s midsection takes a leaf out of Rage Against The Machine’s book with it’s mid-tempo beat and dare I say it, funky guitar work?
The scrappy “Black Eyes” shows Gallows at their simplified best, while the swagger of “I Dread The Night” and “Death Voices” is sure to keep fans of The Bronx happy. I’ll admit that the inclusion of an acoustic number was not something I was expecting from the British mob, however the gentle introduction that is “The Vulture (Acts I & II)” only makes the second half of the sonic shit-storm all the more impressive.
It’s towards the end of Grey Britain that we begin to see just how much Frank and his troop’s musical understanding has evolved. From the heavily discordant “The Great Forgiver” to the almost ambient (until the track’s final minutes hand you your arse) “Misery”, Gallows demonstrate that they are capable of crafting a record which is as dynamic as it aggressive, a rare feat when you consider just how dimensional many of today’s punk bands are.
Grey Britain is sure to please those that are already on board the Gallows bandwagon, and for those that aren’t; you’d be well advised to give the band another chance.
1. The Riverbank
2. London Is The Reason
4. Black Eyes
5. I Dread The Night
6. Death Voices
7. The Vulture (Act I & II)
8. The Riverbed
9. The Great Forgiver
11. Queensberry Rules