CD Review: Gallows

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 13.09.12 | Issue # 305

Published in Inpress (VIC) | 12.09.12 | Issue # 1241



7 September, 2012

The first 45 seconds of Gallows’ new and self-titled album sets the scene with a sample that features a monotone, computer-like female voice asking a series of questions to the sound of a steady, building drum beat. Following that, Gallows wastes no time in answering the question on every fan’s mind – are Gallows better or worse off with a new frontman? As soon as you’re smacked in the face with Wade MacNeil’s voice it’s clear that the band has left little room for anyone to opt for the latter option.

There may be a new voice up the front, but the music on this release still screams Gallows. Catchy guitar riffs laid over pacey drums sees a slight drift from the brutal sounds featured onGrey Britain and more into the realm of punk rock-infused hardcore. Although this is the first full-length with MacNeil – an ex-Alexisonfire member – the band did release a four-track EP with him at the end of last year. Gallows have taken the band in a completely different direction than the one the Death Is Birth EP suggested they would.

Last June, the first single lifted off the release, manages to capture and sum up the new sound of Gallows perfectly. While it’s arguably not the best track on there – Outsider Art and Everybody Loves You (When You’re Dead) gives it a run for its money – it’s structured in such a way as to allow each member’s defining characteristics to shine through. When one door closes, another opens; Gallows have found new life with MacNeil fronting the band, and he, in turn, has been given a new creative outlet now that Alexisonfire are, or are soon to be, no more.

Daniel Cribb