Right now, Gallows is the only British band that matters. Fuck Mika and Robbie Williams; they’re pussies. Gallows are truly national treasures, and if you needed any more proof after listening to their 2006 album, Orchestra Of Wolves, their latest work has the raw, blood-drenched intensity of a classic political thriller.
Grey Britain has taken the recent economic woes of the UK to heart, creating a document of political turmoil that sounds positively astute. Despite commercial success, the album is, if anything, less accessible than their last record, with yelped lyrics and muddy production that highlights the band’s love for bass-heavy distortion. The album is tight and fast, and what it lacks in variety or musical acrobatics, it makes up for with inspired lyrics and pure mojo. On “I Dread The Night,” Frank Carter sings, “Trapped in the body of a man defeated, I have the shame of mistakes repeated,” and his anger is so tangible that you can practically hear his veins popping out of his neck.
On Grey Britain, Gallows doesn’t mature or grow in leaps and bounds. But the album reaffirms their talent for weaving spine-tingling tales within the context of a simple, stupid punk song. The band’s sound is reminiscent of the best of early Pavement and Black Flag, and it’s a refreshing kickstart for anyone who, like me, feels that punk died with Darby Crash.