They’re from Watford and they’re angry. The two facts might be related, but Gallows have greater concerns. “Britain is fucked,” singer Frank Carter told Kerrang recently. His group’s second album is an attempt to detail, critique and fight against what they see as the decay of the country they call home.
“Fight” is the word. Gallows are a hardcore punk act, their sound occasionally coloured by a string section but still downright aggressive. They’re driven by Carter’s lyrics, which are both the key to the record’s attitude and yet also often its weakest feature. Misery is the worst offender, but it’s far from the only juvenile lyric. Great if you’re 16, of course; but grown-ups may find a little too much unintentional self-parody here for comfort.
Still, Carter’s lapses are usually carried along by a band who’ve hit a balance between hardcore attitude and road-tested discipline. For all Grey Britain’s flaws, at least they’re trying to say something.