Death Is Birth EP
05 December 2011
by Vincent Danger
Here’s a clever opening line about how reports of Gallows’ demise have been greatly exaggerated and how we can all say, “RIP Gallows,” but also, “Viva Gallows.” Ultimately, this is Gallows. Is it the same as when the crazy ginger man was singing? No. Is it better? It’s different.
Frank Carter was obviously the focal point of this band but it was Laurent Barnard writing the songs. Think of the bands who have gone on to success without their original frontman. Faith No More, AC/DC, Alice In Chains and Iron Maiden all spring to mind. This is not without precedent. Wade MacNeil wasn’t even the biggest name in Alexisonfire but he’s the right man for the job and that’s the most important thing.
The 36 second blast of ‘True Colours’ that they released earlier this year set down a marker early on. Sounding like a cross between The Dillinger Escape Plan and Every Time I Die, they made sure that everyone knew that clean vocals were far from their minds. It’s a fucking excellent song.
Musically, this EP sounds closer to the the quirky, discordant punk sounds of Orchestra Of Wolves but vocally, Wade MacNeil is a gruffer, more straightforward punk rock singer. There’s aggression and power alright, but there’s not the same exhilarating sense of unbridled chaos that there used to be. That’s been replaced with relative safety, but it’s no less powerful.
‘Mondo Chaos’ is a swinging diatribe where MacNeil swears a fuck of a lot against a backdrop of classic hardcore. It’s fast, it’s to the point, it’s angry. ‘Hate Hate Hate’ is as happy as you’d expect it to be. They’ve gone back to their roots and it sounds damn good.
Ultimately, there’s only so much one can say about 459 seconds of music. There’s enough here to prove that Lags Barnard’s songwriting skills aren’t on the wane and that Wade MacNeil is a more than able replacement for Carter.
It’s Gallows and it’s as simple as that. You might love it, you might hate it but you can not ignore it.
Sounds like: Gallows gone punk again, Burned Out Motors
Top tracks: Mondo Chaos, True Colours, Hate Hate Hate, Death Is Birth