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Gallows humour


The true failed bands of each generation, as opposed to your Ordinary Boys/Lady Sovereign/The Others mid-tier failures, get far too easy a ride, precisely because nobody can remember enough about them to mock. For instance, if I was to start busting on The Glitteratti right now, would you recall enough about them to laugh along? Koopa had three top 40 singles: try and hum one of them. What did the lead singer of Kubb look like? Have a go at pinpointing the exact year Ben’s Brother failed to happen. See what I mean? History has absolved them of their myriad sins by simply tippexing them from your mind. It’s hard to know if Gallows, who bizarrely a bunch of indie types spent the better part of 2007 trying to make happen, will be totally forgotten. Frontman Frank Carter has been cutting some utterly stunning interviews in an attempt to make them remembered, even if just as a punchline. Which is something, I’d imagine Kwame is quite happy with his station in life these days. Let’s enjoy one of those interviews together:

Right now we’re heading into probably one of the greatest recessions in the history of humanity, so we thought: “Fuck it, let’s write something that has some historical, political and social relevance.”

I think we’re to take it from this that Frankie believes the true defining cultural artifact of the age should be piss-weak bedroom stomp hardcore fronted by a ginger bodrick lookin’ boy cosplaying an episode of Miami Ink. But I digress.

Part of the reason we signed to a major label was because they felt we had something to say.

This really is the part of the interview where the needle scratches off the record player. And if the LP in question was actually by Gallows, so much the better.

We’ve always been about substance over style. And we’re a very stylish band anyway, so the substance has to equate to the same.

Wait, if the substance has to equate to the same, surely that means they’re about “substance equal to style”? But this is what I don’t like: it’s strongly reminiscent of that Departure interview we linked to a few weeks back, this uneasy sensation of when a band cares so little about you they’re not even bothering to dress up their marketing speak with some kind of “we mean it, mannnnnn” approach. Or, more likely, they’re too fucking stupid to. 

It would have been easy to write a pop record, sell 100m albums and bow out laughing.

Really now. Would it?

This time, we’re talking about our country and other countries, and about us as a race.

Pretty sure there’s at least one black guy out there listening to hardcore, and they’re saying he’s not part of the discussion they’re having on the record?

When did things start to go wrong? Hurricane Katrina was a good start.

Oh wait, they’ve won him back.

Off the back of that, people started losing faith, and the whole economy began to collapse, and then it pretty much went from bad to worse. People in negative equity, 100% mortgages, unemployment … it’s just snowballed from greed at the very top of the chain, and, as usual, people further down the ladder get shat on.

It’s like being stuck in a ride to the station with the world’s fucking dumbest taxi driver. If Wack Francis went on to say “You’ll never guess who I had in the back of here the other day. Jack Grisham of highly influential hardcore punk act TSOL, aka “True Sounds of Liberty”, the scene couldnae be more complete. 

Not to mention that further down the ladder that generation is getting smaller and smaller, closer and closer together. Kids are having kids – how do you expect a child to teach their child anything about growing up? They don’t know what they’re doing! They can’t be responsible to teach somebody else what’s right or wrong when they’re having kids at 13 years old.

 No one wants to hear about twentysomething guys drinking whiskey. 

I think this is the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever read. Accordingly, here’s Corb Lund’s “Time to Switch to Whiskey”. Not only is this song infinitely better than anything Gallows will ever commit to wax, the line “I’ve been splittin’ my eights/And hittin’ my straights/In the cardrooms of the world” absolutely destroys the careers of 95% of bands on its own:


Just because you’re 14 years old, that doesn’t mean you can ignore a situation that directly affects you and affects your entire legacy. 

No trust me, you quite easily can. The political beliefs of 14-year-olds rarely rise above “the war in Iraq is BAD Che Guevara is GOOD” for a reason, because it saves having to include people who don’t have facial hair into the fucking political process.

This time around, I don’t even think there is a solution. Everything is falling apart. Not only is Britain fucked, the world is fucked. We’re at the beginning of the end of humanity.

Gallows’ latest album, “Grey Britain”, will be released on Warner Brothers Records May 3rd. Available on iTunes and in all good record stores.

  1. Maria Smedstad
    April 23, 2009 at 10:32 am

    “I have steered clear of any race issues on this record because I don’t have any.”

    “The whole song is saying “let’s take it back to the old school, let’s live our lives by the Queensberry ruels.” The old days? Britain had more colour. It was a brighter place. It was bolder. It was multi-cultural back then, if on a much smaller scale. Back then people duked stuff out like men.”

    “I would consider us artists rather than a band. And that’s what it’s always been for us. We’re artists and I don’t think many bands are artists any more. There are a lot of kids out there who think ‘I want to be in a band, I want to be a rock star.’ It doesn’t work like that. We never thought we wanted to be rock stars. We thought we wanted to be artists and that’s what we’ve done on this record.”

    ““Where are Gallows going to be in five years?” Probably the morgue.”

    continues fprever….

  2. Maria Smedstad
    April 23, 2009 at 10:33 am

    “Part of the reason we signed to a major label was because they felt we had something to say.”

    Countdown to them saying the exact opposite about major labels after they’re dropped starts now.

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