It was sad news about a year and a half ago when it was announced that Frank Carter would, indeed, be parting ways with Gallows, the Watford-based hardcore punk band had completely changed the game with their first two records and were without doubt one of the best live bands in the world. I was lucky enough to have a ticket to see them on their final tour with the raw lead vocalist. In my eyes Carter was the real heartbeat of Gallows his croaky shouting brought punk back to the forefront of the music scene and, in fact, improved upon the genre as a whole. When it was announced that he’d be replaced by Wade MacNeil, of alexisonfire, my immediate reaction was disappointment. It didn’t seem right that a Canadian would be screaming ‘London is the Reason’ all up and down our country. Then soon after all this Gallows released a new EP, to give a taster of their new front-man. Death is Birth was as fast, powerful and angry as a punch in the face and it was the first sign to me that Gallows may actually continue to be a decent band.
So the album is, in many ways, very similar to Death is Birth. The tracks rarely reach the three minute mark and are filled with back to basics thrashy hardcore punk. It’s a far dirtier album than the much more polished Grey Britain, and even, perhaps, more raw than their debut, Orchestra of Wolves. As it goes on there are some slightly more tuneful riffs but that’s not saying much. Wade’s yelling is much less audible than Carter’s and he gives the band a completely new feel to the group and that’s, sort of, a good thing as it separates this album from anything they’ve done previously but on the other hand it makes the band sound a lot more like the more generic American hardcore punk acts like Cancer Bats.
Overall I really like the album but its lost the magic that it had with Frank at the helm. Although having listened to the first few releases from his new band Pure Love, it looks like he would have ruined them anyway. But my main problem is that I don’t like the fact that they still have the same name, they sound completely different and it just doesn’t sound right when you hear MacNeil shouting out Carter’s lyrics. Nevertheless as a standalone album this is good stuff.