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Gallows: Desolation Sounds

Nu-punk louts in ‘fourth racket’ fracas.

When angry young men become slightly older, their fire can fizzle out. Of course, there was never any danger of Gallows mellowing.

Their fourth album, and second with vocalist Wade MacNeil, superficially adheres to the same formula of raging punk rock and hardcore that first endeared the band to the 21st-century’s snot-hurling generation.

It boasts songs like marauding opener Mystic Death and the scything blur of Leviathan Rot, bristling with volatility and disquiet. But this is no straightforward punk racket: as the album evolves, darker and creepier influences emerge from the melee, evoking the gothic squall of the post-punk movement, wherein dynamics and moments of eerie calm simply intensify everything else around them.

Gallows’ lurch into unnerving and diverse territory makes perfect sense, not least because these songs exhibit a defiance and focus that would make most modern punks shit their pants and scream for mummy. Watford’s finest are still very much the real deal./o:p