For Fans Of
When The Gifthorse called it quits in February, we lost an important part of the Australian punk rock scene. Now, to make a long story short, they’re back, armed with a brand new album titled, ‘Give My Body To This Town’, which shows that the band has certainly returned at their best, showing the type of musical maturity that isn’t seen in some groups that play together for decades.
When ‘Fault Line Forms’ kicks off, the driving guitar chords, and the atmospheric, ethereal lead guitar sounds from Steven Scott and Matt Bach immediately show signs of a band well beyond their years. The track is held back, however, by a somewhat poor mix that leaves Shane Collins vocals almost completely drowned out by the mix, something that stays relatively constant throughout the entirety of the album. That said, it’s not a crippling mistake, and by the time you’re through ‘The Took Ones,’ your ears are likely to have adjusted to it.
‘She Grew Wings’ seems to bring things down after the electrifying opening tracks, showing off some strong dynamic control that helps the band to maintain the high energy of the previous tracks without sounding particularly in your face. ‘Burn The Midnight Oil’ is almost the polar opposite of ‘She Grew Wings’. The song starts off with a pounding drum beat, courtesy of drummer Luke Gal, and crunching guitars, all at a blistering tempo that rarely lets up throughout the entire track.
‘Give My Body To This Town‘ owes a lot of thanks to the rhythm section, with Gal drumming and Adam Brady holding things down on bass, particularly in the chorus. While the title track isn’t devoid of impressive work in the guitar/vocals, it really is the fantastic rhythmic patterns that make this song such a strong addition to the album.
The double hit of ‘More Than Life’ and ‘The Royal Oak Hotel’ rounds the record out pretty well. The former is one of the heavier tracks; choosing to avoid the flashier side of things in favour of the straightforward 90s skate-punk rock approach. The latter is bolstered by some particularly solid guitar work from Scott and Bach, and a gang vocal section throughout the chorus that is bound to go down excellently in the live setting.
Despite some minor mixing issues, The Gifthorse refuse to be held back, delivering an excellent collection of tracks on ‘Give My Body To This Town.’ It’s a damn shame that these guys aren’t more popular, because they deserve to be representing Australia on a worldwide stage.
- Fault Line Forms
- The Took Ones
- She Grew Wings
- Burn The Midnight Oil
- Give My Body To This Town
- Morning Shark
- One More Night In Brisbane
- More Than Life
- The Royal Oak Hotel