No one ever said it was going to be easy. But nothing worth having comes without a fight. So you roll with the punches. You stay focused, stay on point. Biding your time, until the time is right. Knowing that soon your day will come.
For Gallows, that time is now.
Described, variously, as "The best British punk band since The Clash" and "The British music industry's biggest mistake," the Hertfordshire hardcore crew first emerged from the fecund UK underground punk scene in 2005. Inspired by Refused, At the Drive-In, JR Ewing and Swing Kids, their ferocious, feral 2006 debut Orchestra of Wolves offered a harsh, unflinching dissection of suffocating suburban mores, shot through with images of small-town violence, desperation and disgust. Its follow-up, 2009's apocalyptic Grey Britain, was darker, denser and even more brutally incisive, a lacerating, none-more-bleak state of the nation address, speaking of a once proud nation on its knees, riven by prejudice, greed, ignorance and fear.
In the summer of 2011, as London was paralysed by waves of looting, arson and civil disobedience in a chilling echo of the dystopian decline mapped out on Grey Britain, Gallows parted company with vocalist Frank Carter. Hitting the pause button for the first time in five dizzying years afforded the band an opportunity to take stock of their lives and consider what was truly important to them. Which, ultimately, proved to be the very same things which had propelled the young musicians onto the stage in the first instance - friendship, community and breathless, deathless punk rock, played from the fucking heart.
December 2011's Death Is Birth EP heralded the arrival of a new Gallows: united, uncompromised, unfettered, unbroken. With old friend (and former Alexisonfire guitarist) Wade MacNeil installed as the band's new frontman, the seven-inch EP was a defiant declaration of independence, 459 seconds of apoplectic punk rock fury landing like an adrenaline spike to the heart. Its release signalled a new year zero for Gallows: Death...is just the beginning...
Summer 2012 found the quintet back home in Watford, recording their third album with long-time associates Thomas Mitchener and Steve Sears from Spycatcher, inking with Bridge Nine to release the album in the U.S. that September. The band self-titled the album to mark their brand new chapter, showcasing some of Gallows' best and most pissed-off work to date.
Fast-forward to 2014: After international touring and festival appearances in support of Gallows, the band hit the studio again to prove it was no fluke. The result, the two-song Chains/Wristslitter single, features another lineup reconfiguration, with the departure of the other Carter brother. Yet, the band is clearly doing more with less: "Chains" is one of the heaviest songs in their catalog, an anthemic sledgehammer backed on the B-side by the groovier but equally snarling "Wristslitter". This newest incarnation of the act seems to vaguely parallel the progressive tendencies of contemporaries like Fucked Up and Blacklisted without compromising their core ferociousness and snide, socially aware bite.
Wade MacNeil - Vocals • Laurent Barnard - Guitar/Keyboard/Vocals • Stu Gili-Ross - Bass • Lee Barratt - Drums