5 December 2012
Gallows - Orchestra of Wolves
Descending on the planet from Hertfordshire, UK - you will have to check on a map there that is, I don't have a clue where it is - in 2006 these guys were getting an awful lot of press for their chaotic live shows and a reputation for being a bit.... well - not the sort of boys you take to see your mother. That said, if you were at a Gallows show, you probably don't give a damn what your mother thought anyway.
Cut from the hardcore punk cloth of Comeback Kid, Sick of It All, Discharge and others, this debut did relatively well upon release - even ended up getting a re-release deluxe edition with an extra CD. This can be found in various places but I will concern myself with the original 12 tracks of OoW. Whilst not trying to reinvent the wheel, they play the screaming shouty hardcore card very well. Songs like "In The Belly of A Shark", "Just Because You Sleep Next To Me Doesn't Mean Your Safe", "Abandon Ship" (which quotes a song I heard on a Muller Rice ad) and "Six Years" still sound fierce today as they did 6 years ago. In no small part due to the obvious passion the band had at the time, this album is very complete and a good snap shot of them at that point.
However, the production is poor. At times when it needs a bit more on the volume and distortion it just seems to have hit it's full volume and will not give anymore. Also, for a punk album at times it feels just a bit too forced, too almost clinical. Not in the same way that Blink 182 is classed as punk with it's polished vainer. This is rough and spikey - also as stated above in need of some more power. But it does not feel like the underdog coming up and wanting to take the world by storm, it feels like a solider who has been in a long battle and is on his way to the next war. You can see the scars and damage, and you also know that he is going for more of the same on the next field of combat.
As debut goes, it is a great record which is failed by the producers. It could have been more, but all in all I feel like it was just right for the band at the time and has not been made into too much of a millstone for their collective necks. For all intents and purposes, it is doing the job it is meant to do - kicking ass and being proud of it, I just need to keep out of Hertfordshire.
6.5 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there
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