Gallows – [Album]

Sunday, 27 September 2009

No one likes a show-off. I know that’s certainly the case for me and, in addition to a certain lack of patience, I have a low tolerance for people’s bullshit. This general sense of impatience isn't something I'm proud of (because, come on – everyone deserves a chance!), but I’ve come to accept it. Knowing that these aspects add to my sunny disposition, I was given the arduous task of reviewing Gallows’ Grey Britain, which was released earlier this year. I say ‘arduous’ because it was ‘difficult.’ And, I say ‘difficult,’ because I’m aware of who Gallows is and the way they decide to portray themselves. It’s because of this I’ve decided to avoid them all these years.  Allow me to explain:

What was my perception of this band before I went into Grey Britain? I'd read about the band’s importance to their lead singer, or the lack of one. After all, he’s openly admitted that Gallows is just a hobby that he gets paid for and that the band would probably be broken up by 2010. Splendid! There's nothing like an arrogant “fuck you” to all the bands out there who starve for the love of their craft. Also, according to the band, Grey Britain is supposed to be the heaviest album they’ve ever heard. Now that's a loaded statement. Heightening expectations instead of letting people make up their own minds is simply irresponsible. There’s nothing like an album taking you by surprise, but sadly, that element of surprise has already been spoiled by the band, in this case. Further, if this is what the band considers the “heaviest thing they’ve ever heard” then they are seriously deprived. They must have somehow missed Rolo Tomassi’s debut last year, which blows this album out of the water in the ‘heavy’ category. A show-off is one thing; an ignorant exhibition is just inexcusable.

So, why bother with a band like Gallows? Well, as it turns out, Grey Britain is actually a good album and succeeds IN SPITE of the band itself. The recording is crisp, the playing tight, and there are plenty of tracks here that help the album gain momentum and keep things interesting (like “Leeches” and “Black Eyes”). It sounds like apocalyptic, slightly punked-up metal – which is nothing mind blowing – but after repeated listens (sorry readers, I wanted to give the album a chance, which is why the review took so long), it'll actually grow on you a bit. The vocals, while forced at times, hit the mark often enough to compliment the song-writing and the sound of the album. The vinyl package is beautiful on beige and red splattered wax, and priced very fairly unlike some other Limited Edition records out these days; ringing in at just under twenty-two dollars on Amazon. What a shame that the band tried to kill the album before it was even out!

The point is, Grey Britain deserves a listen regardless of what you’ve heard about the band. Give it a chance, or even better, give it to someone who’s never heard of them. They might be able to appreciate it on a whole other level.


Further Reading:

Grey Britain CD review on Ground Control.


Grey Britain
is out now and available here on Amazon .

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