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Grey Britain

Gallows

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Album Review

It's no easy task to follow up a record that harvested as much hype as the Gallows' biting 2006 debut, Orchestra of Wolves. Many music mags (Kerrang! and NME, especially) touted the band as the second coming of hardcore punk and the praises were well-founded. Drenched in irony, Frank Carter's frighteningly hedonistic lyrics matched the icky literary prowess of Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho, and the group's savage intensity recalled early U.K. punk and American hardcore at its finest. After touring some arena-sized festivals, Warped Tours, and whatnot, they rethought their plans of attack for their sophomore attempt, Grey Britain, and ultimately came to a decision to revamp their sound with a metal edge. There's the same screaming angst and relentless speed that was celebrated in their first outing, but now Carter's shrieks are backed by double kick drums and explosive speed metal guitar riffs that have more in common with Slayer and early Metallica than Black Flag or the Exploited. Shifting into metalcore territory is a tricky decision, since a lot of their initial appeal was due to the fact that they were making their own personal stamp on revitalizing punk — a genre that's becoming increasingly saturated with commercialism. Here, they seem less unique. Part of this can be attributed to producer GGGarth, the man responsible for making Mudvayne, Slipknot, and Atreyu come alive on disc. Brittle guitar tones and off-kilter rhythms are substituted for thick, beefy tones and massive group shouts on the choruses, resulting in songs like "We Are the Night" and "Graves." In the disc's most unlikely moment, "The Vulture (Acts I & II)" begins with two minutes of a sweetly sung, soothing acoustic ballad — complete with strings — before flipping into a tight, furious, headbanging anthem. Those not banging their heads will likely be scratching them, wondering what the Gallows are really all about and where they're headed next.

Customer Reviews

One Of The Albums Of The Decade...

You may think that title is an overstatement, but as soon as you've listening to this album once through, a second, third, fourth helping is neccesary to quench your thirst and demand. Orchestra Of Wolves, Gallows' first LP, was a riproaring affair through punk and energy, Grey Britain takes it that bit further with an added element of style and presence. Frank Carter's view on Britain is highlighted throughout the album, and Gallows do indeed seem to have matured, without taking away any of the raw passion that smashed them through the ceiling of the London punk underground. The Vulture Acts, the first single, reveal a softer side to the band, but they soon return to wipe the confused look off your face. If you've seen them live and seen them play Misery and London Is The Reason live, you will be surprised that they seem to sound just as hectic on record than in a live situation. All in all, it is hard to imagine Gallows producing a better sophmore album than this. Orchestra Of Wolves set the bar high but they've gone atmospheric with this effort and to top this with a follow-up is going to be one tough job. Frank Carter said he wasn't sure Gallows would last, but thank God they have, otherwise we would never have been able to hear the masterpiece that is Grey Britain...

A Punk Concept Album?

I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like the whole album is a big metaphor for invasion from foreigners which makes grey britain a concept album, which is the polar opposite to punk it's still well worth a listen :)

british punk rock

finally some british rock and punk bands are starting to sing with an english accent. this and the new imperial vipers album should herald a new rise in british talent not afraid of their roots. we invented rock we invented punk (sort of...lets forget about CBGB's scene for now...) lets take it back

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Watford, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

As a disenfranchised D.I.Y. punk band from the U.K., Gallows fuse rage with a disgust with their social surroundings in the same fashion as their forefathers, the Sex Pistols and the Clash, to add a genuine urgency to their punk revival. In 2005, Frank Carter (vocals), Steph Carter (guitar/vocals), Laurent Barnard (guitars/keys/vocals), Stuart Gili-Ross (bass), and Lee Barratt (drums) formed the band after digesting a steady diet of '80s hardcore staples like Black Flag and Minor Threat and underground...
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Grey Britain, Gallows
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