Grey Britain

01.05.09

When Britain’s most prolific hardcore punk band gets so much recognition they end up signed to a major for their second album, things are probably gonna go tits up, right? Actually, wrong, because this is Gallows, the band whose frontman once stated that tattooing was more important than music – so why the hell would a major chuck loads of money at them, interfere with the outcome and risk Frank Carter running back to the inky needle faster than he can spit? They wouldn’t, and they haven’t, and the result is epic. Grey Britain is a powerful record; depressing to the point that it saps you of energy but provocative enough to make you wonder why the country hasn’t been set on fire and rebuilt by apes who could run it better (“We are the rats and we run this town,” Screams Carter on London Is The Reason). It’s addictive too, to the point where you feel the need to befriend an angry southerner just to make it through the day. The Vulture (Acts I & II) begins as a mellow affair, acoustic guitars and the appearance of Carter’s singing voice in tow, before it combusts into a devilish rage worthy of a spot on a mixtape for a road trip through hell. Graves has guest vocals from Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, his trademark soothing twang perfectly juxtaposing the misery. Gallows are definitely back guitars blazing for round two, and they haven’t compromised a thing. The question is, can the youth of grey Britain handle such terror at the live shows? (9)