Orchestra Of Wolves

Written by: PP on 18/08/2007 02:51:52

"We don't fuck about, say what we think" yells vocalist Frank Carter on "Kill The Rhythm", which opens the old school punk rock / hardcore fusion monster Gallows' debut album "Orchestra Of Wolves", and it sums up what this band stands for perfectly. If you have ever witnessed these Watford, UK guys live, you'll know exactly what I mean, as it is what this band's incredible hype has been built on. Their shows are punker than thou, with a rebellious 'we don't give a fuck' vibe dominating the atmosphere, partly due to the vulgar and offensive lyrics and the aggressive sound, and partly due to the relative insanity of especially frontman Carter. Limbs and bruises aren't spared in the circle pits, where Carter himself is usually the first one to get things going, dealing out punches right and screams left. Essentially, that's what their debut album "Orchestra Of Wolves" is all about, and the accompanying live disc on its re-issue has been slapped on for that mere reason - its just not possible to capture such primal screaming and ensuing chaos onto a studio version of the album. The fans know it, the label knows it, and the critics know it.

As such, many of the actual album songs don't sound as fierce as they do live. "Abandon Ship", a compelling story about a ship full of people unable to swim, which wrecks on rocks surrounded by circling sharks, comes pretty close with its desperation-filled yelling bordering screaming - but it's just not the same without Carter mugging you, ignoring your very existence through his relentless stage appearance. But it is a great example of why this band has received as much hype as it does. Carter's story-telling skills are nothing short of brilliant; they are spot on short stories written for the pissed-off lower-class Brit, meaning that they aren't complicated at all, but they punch the message into you pretty damn effectively. I'll leave you guessing what "Just Because You Sleep Next To Me Doesn't Mean You're Safe" is all about.

Musically, "Orchestra Of Wolves" isn't very competent at all. At times, you might think the band only picked up instruments a few weeks before the recording session, but that's also what makes their songs convincing. They are all about three-chorded punk rock recorded in garage-quality with razor sharp edges in the guitars and simplistic but solid drum beats. But those simple power chords are cleverly written, oozing of song writing talent waiting to be realized, because every song on this album keeps you interested, whether its through intensifying breakdowns or perfect time signature switches.

According to the words of our very own scribe TL, Carter is the most repulsive frontman he's witnessed live to date. He's also the biggest cunt you'll ever meet, as evident on the brilliant title track, which closes the album on a high note. "My name is Casanova, I'm basically a man", Carter proclaims, telling girls to "spread those shaking legs" because he is "feeling fucking hungry tonight". I won't even go on the graphic profanities detailed later on in the song, because they're more suitable for porn movies than a music website..

All things summed up, Gallows' debut album "Orchestra Of Wolves" is brilliant. It has split the critical acclaim in half, with most of the traditional media unable to understand why this band is so god damn important to the music scene in 2007, and the rest praising them to be the next Sex Pistols, reviving what punk rock was all about when it was young and dangerous. Musically, the album might not impress you as much as The Ghost Of A Thousand earlier this year, but go to a show and witness the honest brutality and the passionately violent delivery of the band, and see how the songs transform from aggressive to outright dangerous live. Bring ear plugs though, because Gallows recently broke Manowar's world record of the loudest band on planet, playing at 132.5 decibels during a concert. Don't let the score fool you, these songs are perfect 10's live, Gallows just face the same problem as At The Drive-In did in the past - it's just not possible to recreate their intense live setting in a studio.

Download: Abandon Ship, Orchestra Of Wolves, Kill The Rhythm
For the fans of: The Ghost Of A Thousand, Cancer Bats, Comeback Kid, Bane
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.06.2007
(original release date 25.06.2006)
In At The Deep End Records

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