Merely listening to a Gallows record in your tiny bedroom at home is a little bit like licking the pages of 101 Amazing Cake Recipes. Shorn of the live spectacle – the blood, the sweat, your teeth in the back of your throat – the Watford band’s debut major label release was always going to be something of an anti-climax.
That said, this is a tune that comes bound in a guitar riff that sounds like a stuttering velociraptor, while the metaphorical allusion to a crumbling family unit as sinking steamboat certainly beats having the same jeans on for four days as intriguing subject matter. It might lack the visceral punch of their live show, yet like that experience, it’s the input of singer Frank Carter that makes Gallows such an exciting, vital – nay, special – band.
“The SS Death lost everything/And no-one here can fucking swim,” cries Carter, and it’s this sincere vulnerability and sensitivity (Eh? – Morrissey Ed), aligned with their topless swaggering, sexually poised hardcore machismo – and aided by the
nous that, like Oasis with prison tattoos, they blatantly think they’re the mutt’s nuts – that makes Gallows the only band this writer gives a shit about right now. If you see them live anytime soon you’ll understand why in an instant. If you give this a spin now, you’ll understand a mere nanosecond after that.