(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Album Review: Gallops – Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore

By on Thursday, 17th January 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

These guys are all over the place, never knowing whether they are coming or going in a chaotic mass of what I can only describe as math rock inspired, post-apocalyptic bizarreness. It feels like prog, but it edges into the kind of electro territory that Foals seem to have down so nicely.

Gallops Yours Sincerely coverGallops are described on that bastion of all knowledge Wikipedia as “an experimental rock band from Wrexham, Wales”. But ‘experimental’ is probably as big an understatement as saying that Joey Barton is just a bit silly, or that Dave Grohl is only a little bit famous. These Welshmen are breaking boundaries and since their self-titled 2010 EP release have been smack bang in the middle of everyone’s new music radar. Traditional song structure, like the classic ABAB and then rinse repeat, is nowhere to be seen on ‘Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore’, their debut album released in December. The songbook is entirely ripped up from opening song ‘Astaroth’ to the skitz out that is closer ‘Crutches’.

Its madness and unpredictability is its greatest strength though. Second track ‘Jeff Leopard’ (video below) is a perfect example of the syncopated randomness. It sounds like a warped, hyped up version of a Super Mario theme with a dash of Pokémon Blue chucked in there for good measure. ‘Lasers’ has the feel of a rocked-up house track, with guitars smashing up against the electronics produced by Paul Maurice and frontman Mark Huckridge, while ‘G is for Jalie’ feels like a stripped back Everything Everything but without the squealing tones of crooner Jonathan Higgs. The technical brilliance that these guys are showing off though is all there to be seen on this record though.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8vNrS9BQwE[/youtube]

It takes a subtle brilliance to mash the hardcore rhythms that Gallops are playing with to the electronic beats that they’re producing. If you’re a fan of good prog though, the kind of stuff which has you sitting there, wherever you are listening, scratching your head, then these boys are 100% for you. They are making something that you definitely won’t have heard anywhere else. Just listen to the utter chaos that is ‘Window FX’, with its revolving scales of howls and what I can only assume is a sound effect of a man going “OHHHH” in the background. Morphing into a noodling guitar solo of Josh Homme, in Biffy Clyro’s ‘Bubbles’ kind of proportions, it really is that good that I’m comparing some of the guitars to that ginger-haired god of mosh.

The songs are intricate and at first difficult to really get your head around, but after a proper listen, this band can give you some serious rewarding. In the form of frankly some of the best balls out music that you’ll hear for a while. These boys may not be hitting the big time, but my word, you need to keep an eye on them. Because god. They. Are. Cool.

9/10

‘Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore’, the debut album from Gallops, is out now on Blood and Biscuits. You can listen to the album in full on the band’s Bandcamp. The band is one of several high-profile Scottish rock bands performing at this year’s SXSW; for more information on the UK bands set to perform at this year’s event, check out the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013 and the rock/metal/punk UK band edition of the TGTF Guide.

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