This is surely the best thing to have come out of Watford since John Barnes. This is Gallows’ debut album and it is fucking brilliant.
_Orchestra Of Wolves _is an old-school punk rock-fuelled hardcore monstrosity that is topped off quite fantastically by Frank Carter’s unholy story-telling racket. Plus, it’s all quite unmistakeably British.
It all explodes with discordance and terror with the opening track ‘Kill The Rhythm’. The rhythm in question is fantastically off-kilter, swerving and morphing JR Ewing-style. You’ll have to catch the slippery bugger before you can kill it.
Old tracks like the marvellously swinging _‘Abandon Ship’ _and the bile-ridden, brooding anger diatribe _‘Will Someone Shoot That Fucking Snake’ _have been re-recorded with outstanding production that gets all the levels right but doesn’t add an unwelcome sheen to this grittier-than-gritty record, maintaining the underground feel which is imperative in a debut.
Keyboards play significant roles in songs like ‘In The Belly Of A Shark’, which The Bronx would be proud of, and ‘Rolling With The Punches’, adding a near-comedic Addams Family element. But you know that while they’re flashing you a smile they’ll also be slipping flick-knives out of their pockets.
The key factor in this record’s brilliance is that Gallows know how to write ambitiously technical hardcore songs using highly personal subject material and turn them into sing-along friendly anthems that even your gran will be tapping her foot along to.
Take the title track with its horrendously hilarious lyrics that tell tales of love without alcohol, bringing a whole new level of reality to the fore. As Carter screams, “I want you to wake up and remember my name when you’re washing my cum off your fucking face”, you’ll realise it’s the most painfully truthful and heartfelt love song you’ve heard this year. I promise you that.
With the disturbing air of malevolence, excellent artwork and hard-hitting but entertaining lyrics, Gallows may well have produced the finest debut album to emerge from the UK in 2006.
9Raziq Rauf's Score