Their days as major label contenders and rock media darlings may be behind them, but Gallows remain an unstoppable force for punk rock good. The band’s new album, Desolation Sounds, is their darkest and nastiest to date, not to mention the most daring and diverse record of their career. The second Gallows album to feature vocalist Wade MacNeil fizzes with creative bravery and sounds like the work of a band newly enthused by their own defiant clangour.
“It was definitely a more enjoyable process this time round,” says guitarist Lags. “Before, there’s always been an element of ‘We can’t do that!’ but this time we just did what we wanted. With the self-titled record we had to focus on that aggressive side of Gallows and make everything short, punchy and exciting. This time we went deep into the kind of music we’re into and the kind of art we want to make.”
Although still firmly rooted in punk and hardcore, Desolation Sounds adds many new layers of atmosphere to Gallows’ sound, resulting in songs that owe as much to the post-punk menace of Siouxsie And The Banshees and Killing Joke as they do to Black Flag. And Lags and his comrades couldn’t care less if people approve of this change in direction or not./o:p
“I treasure the fact that we’ve made this without anyone telling us how it should sound,” he says. “This is Gallows, this is what we do, so fuck off! I couldn’t give a shit if everyone hates it.”
With a bold new musical statement ready to roll, a brief run of UK shows in May and more plans for the rest of the year, Gallows’ collective passion for making an angry racket has never been more potent.
“I think every record we’ve made has been a ‘fuck you’!” laughs Lags. “The first one was a ‘fuck you’ to no one, because we didn’t think anyone would like it. Grey Britain was a massive ‘fuck you’ because we signed to a major label and didn’t turn into Green Day. Then Wade joined and the self-titled album was a ‘fuck you’ because we were still around. This record turns everything around and we’ve flipped our sound, so that’s a massive ‘fuck you’, too!”
DESOLATION SOUNDS IS OUT ON APRIL 13 VIA VENN. GALLOWS TOUR THE UK IN MAY.