Gallows- Grey Britain
However, with Grey Britain, whether thats a message or frustration they're trying to deliver, you cant really tell.
Usually the best way to deliver a message of hope or protest in music
is a profound simplicity; that Sex Pistols, The Clash,
Bob Dylan or The Beatles had, but what the Gallows
are trying to say is vague and doesnt have enough power to move
people in the way that punk used to. Protest music has a memorable lyric
to accompany a moving tune that usually either has a thoughtful quality
or an in-your-face aggressive wisdom- that resembles the majority and
speaks out. Which is why it captures people.
The lyrics from the song, Orchestra Of Wolves:
Although the lyrics are as vibrant as charcoal, alot of the songs are generally good punk tunes. Grey Britain sometimes flows like a series of punches to your eardrums with a staccato impact and a raucous sound and then sometimes gives you a limp slap across the ears. The first is true for songs like London Is The Reason which attacks you in an unnerving way and has a chorus that combines the raw Black Flag sound with a typically Gallows riff. This is also true for the pounding Leeches and Graves- two throbbing adrenaline stomps. The latter; are the unbelievably weak moments like the dire epic: The Vulture acts 1 and 2-which lack a distinct sound and potentially couldve been written by any hardcore band - you cant help but think that Gallows have not made the record that they claimed to have made.
The one thing however is that the Gallows have the passion which the music scene currently lacks, and if its passion that will deliver a message then they have succeeded,- but if they're relying on the lyrics, originality or the meaning of the music, then frankly its a flaccid attempt.
Musically its a great record. And thank you Gallows for having that radical passion that our sour, detol-polished souls need.
It's just not revolutionary.
[but then read this review here - Ed]
The Horrors- Primary Colours
From the sonic introduction of Mirrors Image to the acid-house arpeggios that end Sea Within a Sea this album transports you into a psychedelic whirlwind of summer rays that seem too ethereal to have been created in the 21st century. I Cant Control Myself is an intoxicated fairground ride with a Lux Interior esq. dark edge and the droney slurs once perfected by the velvet underground. Scarlet Fields is like an old Chinese movie soundtrack being played to Joy Division featuring a strangled Iggy Pop but with a harsh tranquillity which then contrasts with the throttled, unnerving New Ice Age, where Faris Badwan transforms into a chimed Johnny Rotten.
On songs like Three Decades and Do You Remember,
what was a gangly organ is now a synth that drifts and sifts around
the melodies like several sperm whales crying through megaphones. And
you cant help but let the sounds flow through you. It's a subtle
divine quality that Jesus and Mary Chain once performed- but with harmonious
layers of feedback, and the horrors have performed just that on this