Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mark Rooster - Gallows: "Grey Britain"

I’d never heard Gallows before last year. Ordered both of their albums and got the first one, “Orchestra of Wolves,” in the mail, read the sticker of rave reviews on the case, and thought, Why have I not heard these guys before? I gave the CD a listen, enjoyed it, nodded my head a few times, but didn’t hear anything to justified Brett Gurewitz’s quote on that cover sticker, something about “punk is back and it’s name is the Gallows,” which sounded, to me, kinda like Stephen King’s “I’ve seen the future of horror and its name is Clive Barker” quote.

But then, the album’s U.S. release was handled by Gurewitz’s Epitaph Records, so that quote—well, it’s kinda like Bruce Campbell’s quote on the back of the “Evil Dead II” VHS: “the mother of all sequels!”

And I guess, so far, this review is kind of like a list of quotes of random shit. So here’s a random list of thoughts I had upon listening to the Gallows’ second album, “Grey Britain,” when it arrived in the mail a few days after “Orchestra of Wolves”:

- The intro is awesome. It’s called “The Riverbank”, and later on there’s a song called “The Riverbed”. I love shit like that.

- It’s bouncy as hell. Whereas “Wolves” had a lot of fast and noisy, and sometimes moshy shit going on, this one sounds cleaner, and has more of a rockin “bouncy” kind of sound (while still retaining plenty of mosh).

- The line that starts “I’m goin out tonight . . .” is one of the most energetic, rockin lyrics I’ve ever heard, and the music goes with it perfectly. This song should open a movie.

- Lots of good mid-tempo hardcore/rock songs.

- The singer, Frank Carter, actually has a pretty good voice. He nails the softer section of “The Vulture”. Part 2 is rad, as well. I love that kind of shit.

- “Misery” is incredible. The ending consists of one of the greatest breakdowns I’ve ever heard, and then it goes into this crazy shit with these pigs squealing. Song’s called “Misery”, made me think of Misery the pig in the story/movie “Misery”. Man, I really love shit like that.

- The last song (aside from the bonus track) is called “Crucifucks”, just to show you how serious these guys are. This one didn’t come out on Epitaph, it was put out by a major label, but it still has a song called “Crucifucks”. They even did a fairly cool job of censoring the title on the back; the design (which is rad as hell) features lots of splatters, including some within the song titles; they simply put some splatters over the “fucks” part of “Crucifucks”. It looks believable. I buy it.

- A lot of the songs deal with religion, and in particular religion and its relation to the culture and daily life in their home town of England.* It’s almost a concept album, with this theme, and others concerning the general demise of England, as they see it, continuing throughout. (OK, maybe I didn’t notice this one on the first listen.)

This is my favorite album from last year. I don’t hear, you know, a shitload of music every year, and I listen to a lot of old shit, for the most part, so it’s possible there’s something out there that I’d like more. But I kinda doubt it. “Grey Britain” is a great album, and Gallows is easily one of the best hardcore bands playing right now.

* I know England isn’t a goddamn town.

1 comment:

  1. How am I ever going to be able to post something after this?

    Crazy Cat has some choice words for you (hint: they start with "Mew Mew Mew Mew Mew.....")