British punks Gallows have a reputation for incendiary live shows that border on communal fight clubs. But their future seemed in doubt when tattooed front man Frank Carter quit last year, halfway through recording this, their self-titled third album.
The Watford band's response was to recruit someone bigger, meaner, louder and with more tattoos. Enter former Alexisonfire growler Wade MacNeil, a Canadian rocker who has helped inspire Gallows to deliver their most brutal set yet.
"I know death is coming, I've seen how he looks," barks MacNeil in Outsider Art, a true punk anthem that comes with the kind of primal chanting and frantic riffage that dares you not to headbang. They keep that pace up for the album's frenetic 11 tracks, with the quickfire rants and fistpumping choruses of Victim Culture and Everybody Loves You (When You're Dead) raising early heckles, and recalling cult genre leaders The Bronx at their very best.
Then there's the bruising pace of Austere, the poignant and thrilling Odessa, the children's chants of Cult of Mary and the relentless assault of Cross of Lorraine. It all adds up to prove Gallows are the real punk deal. Just keep your eyes open in those moshpits or you might get a Doc Martens boot in your face.
Verdict: British punks get rowdy and raucous on third album
- TimeOutBy Chris Schulz @chris__schulz Email Chris