All is unwell in Gallows land: the UK is a rotting nuclear waste site, the Queen is essentially a pig in a wig, and the population is full of chip-and-pin-brained idiots, all of whom they hate, including your mum. In fact, they especially hate your mum. Sorry to break that to you.
Now here’s the bonus: all of the above makes for a pretty sharp dividing line. Nobody’s going to approach this album expecting songs sung in the key of Zippy from Rainbow, or perhaps offerings describing young artists who craft picnic baskets for each other out of the straw they find up their own arses.
No, people are going to expect nothing less than Gallows – literally – because that’s what it says on the tin, and that’s what the band inside the tin want to hang you from. And that’s exactly what makes for a very tasty second album indeed.
You can feel the blood literally jetting out of the band’s exit wounds and into your face, as they politely inform you that “YOU HAVE NO REDEEMING FEATURES!!” on ‘Leeches’. Later on we find out that it’s all been a façade – and that deep down Gallows are actually a shy sort of bunch, who simply want to declare their love for someone: “MISERY FUCKING LOVES ME! AND I LOVE HER TOO!!” Thank god it was all reciprocated.
In the spirit of punk rock, the album moves along at a relatively fast pace, taking in titles such as ‘Death Voices’, ‘I Dread the Night’ and ‘Crucifucks’ (which strikes me as a much more efficient slogan for the Atheists Society than ‘God probably doesn’t exist so stop worrying and enjoy your life’).
I was slightly concerned about approaching a song called ‘The Vulture: Acts 1 and 2’, half expecting a Meatloaf opera that’d been re-jigged to make sense to a bong-craving 15 year old. Yet the acoustic first part, leading into the heavy metal second section, is tight and melodic enough to make something approaching a highlight – even if the formula is so ball-numbingly obvious a complete divvy could predict it.
So, if all this extreme noise terror sounds a bit daunting, rest assured that indeed it is, extremely so. It’s as daunting as blow-drying your face in the evil ghost-gas that Indiana Jones unleashes from The Lost Ark. It’s as daunting as swine flu gnawing through your grandma’s heart like a juicy Christmas lunch.
But hey, at least it’s got a mission – a mission to destroy…
Words: Ric Rawlins
– – –
Click HERE for our full and uncut interview with the band.