Gallows have been in a state of change for the past few years now – since the release of the brilliantly brutal “Grey Britain”. Despite being regarded as a modern day punk masterpiece by the majority of the music press, they were dropped from Warner shortly after its release. Then frontman Frank Carter (the face and for many fans the driving force behind Gallows) left the band due to musical differences while recording the third album. Luckily there was just the right man to fill the monumental void left by Carter – former Alexisonfire guitarist Wade MacNeil.
In just two years Gallows have gone from being the biggest punk band in the UK to a group that still has to prove themselves. Can Wade fill Frank‘s shoes? Will they still sound British? Will it still be angry? The answers are yes, yes and fuck yes!
Entitled “Gallows,” it’s an album of rebirth and rediscovery for a band that could have so easily fallen into obscurity. But with this, their third LP, they’re back to put an end to all doubt surrounding the integrity of one of Britain’s best hardcore bands. Opening with Wade screaming “In us we trust!” it shows they have faith in their future, so why don’t you?
The album’s production is resolutely at the high end of the spectrum, far removed from the basement recordings of so many new punk bands. But they haven’t forgotten their punk roots, it’s a constant barrage of sub-three-minute ragers. From the London riot-themed ‘Last June‘ that’s far more punk than poetry with Wade‘s viscous vocals riling up the anarchists, to the Misfits-tinged ‘Vapid Adolescent Blues‘ that’s as anthemic as it is ferocious.
Wade‘s influence can be heard not just in the vocals but in the music. Gallows‘ inherent stripped-back sound is fully locked in but elements of Stateside punk rock heroes The Bronx and Against Me! collide with MacNeil‘s Pink Eyes-esque voice to create something wholly extraordinary – a hybrid of everything great about Western punk.
Gallows‘ penchant for gang vocals is interwoven throughout the record. From the pure brutality of ‘Austere‘ to the anger-fuelled ‘Odessa‘, the London lads (plus one honorary Londoner) scream together as one to lift the music up from the murky depths to seldom seen heights of accessible but hard-hitting anthems. In true Gallows fashion the record ends with a powerful, angsty release that merges all the elements of the previous 10 tracks into one blast of bouncy, singalong fury that makes you want to rip shit off the walls. It’s everything the band are and will continue to be. Gallows are dead. Long live Gallows.