Listen without prejudice, as George Michael once said. After all, it’s tempting to view this record through a prism of ‘What Frank And Jim Did Next’, given their pedigree in Gallows and The Hope Conspiracy, and given Frank’s assertion that he’s “so sick of singing about hate” on first single ‘Bury My Bones’. That track is included here, and although it’s a decent tune with a great riff, there are more rewarding treasures to be found on ‘Anthems’.
Frank is blessed with a kind of cold croon that, when paired with Jim’s chiming, often Johnny Marr-esque guitars, creates a sound that will lodge in your consciousness whether you like it or not. The soaring choruses of ‘Handsome Devil’s Club’, ‘Riot Song’ and ‘The Hits’ will sound absolutely epic live, and they even manage to pull off a decent ballad in ‘Heavy Kind Of Chains’.
That’s not to say that all the duo’s rough edges have been smoothed over, though. Opening track ‘She’ rides in on a spiky riff reminiscent of early Manic Street Preachers, whilst ‘Scared To Death’ sees Frank howling away like in the days of old. “All’s fair in love and war/And I’m a soldier in both” he asserts, over a barrage of jagged power chords from Jim, to exhilarating effect.
Ultimately, ‘Anthems’ is an album brimming with addictive, unadulterated rock n’ roll songs and no little confidence. Only time will tell if that’s enough to gain Pure Love the same kind of rabidly devoted fanbase that the duo’s previous bands enjoy, but there’s definitely enough quality here to merit them being taken seriously as a band in their own right.
w/ Sharks, Scholars
The Boileroom, Guildford
The tiny Boileroom is packed tonight, not just with people but with a heavy sense of curiosity and excitement. First up are Scholars, although relatively unknown they manage to gain the interest of the whole room. Tracks such as ‘Blinda Data‘ really show this bands capability and with an impressive live show, make a note of Scholars as a potential buzz band for 2013.
Sharks have a strong fan base in the venue tonight, it appears every other person is wearing one of their shirts. So you’d think they would captivate the crowd, however they make little impact. ‘Arcane Effigies‘ creates a small sing along, but they don’t have half the presence and movement of Scholars. Unfortunately the old-school punk look and gimmicks don’t pay off, this is a case of image over substance.
There is a genuine sense of excitement as Frank Carter, Jim Carroll and band take to the stage. They don’t stay there long. Just after one track Frank parts the crowd and takes the show into the pit. He declares ‘Put your phones away, stop posting photos on instagram looking like your having fun, lets have some real fucking fun. Stop making digital memories, lets make some real ones,’ and instantly the Pure Love party starts.
Despite their full-length still to be released the majority of the crowd somehow seem to the know every track word for word. Song after song is a mass of dancing bodies with Frank screaming into faces of the audience and Jim performing on the shoulders of the rest. Frank crowd surfing over to the bar for a beer whilst the drum kit moves from the stage into the pit for ‘Riot’ seems perfectly natural in this chaotic bliss.
Carter’s initial speech of ‘Guildford you are about to have the best 45 minutes of your entire life,’ seemed a bit presumptuous to start with, annoyingly arrogant even. But hats off to him, he was right. This has to be one of the greatest shows to have ever hit this sweat box venue, and arguably one of the best shows of the year. With every single punter leaving the venue with a grin from ear to ear it’s clear Pure Love are more than just a little project, this band could really achieve something.
So, your bicycle has been in the repair shop, getting a new front wheel fitted (the old one unexpectedly broke loose after six-odd years of loyal service). You’re excited, but slightly nervous, mainly because it’s an awesome bicycle, and you’re hoping that it’ll give you as much joy with the new wheel as it did with the old one. The guys at the shop say that this new wheel is pretty impressive, though, so you’re waiting with bated breath.
You’ve probably figured out the analogy by now. Gallows are back with album number three; their first with former Alexisonfire guitarist Wade MacNeil at the helm, and probably as good a riposte to their critics and doubters as we could have hoped for.
Make no mistake, this is a Gallows record through and through. From the moment ‘Victim Culture’ kicks in after a sinister spoken-word intro, those signature raw rock n’ roll riffs, squalling guitar solos and raucous gang vocals are all present in abundance, and sounding more muscular than ever. Frank Carter left large shoes to fill, but MacNeil proves himself more than capable; a hardcore screamer among the best of them, but able to hold a tune when it’s called for (most notably on the intro of the gloriously anthemic ‘Outsider Art’, which is sure to incite mayhem live).
None of this would matter much if the songs were substandard, but among the eleven tracks on offer here are some of Gallows’ best songs to date. ‘Everybody Loves You (When You’re Dead)’ matches anything from ‘Grey Britain’ or ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’ in ferocity alone; a stinging indictment of the ‘don’t speak ill of the dead’ mentality. ‘Depraves’ surfs in on a jagged Laurent Barnard riff before exploding into a carpe diem chorus that will have you howling along with conviction. Elsewhere, ‘Vapid Adolescent Blues’ and ‘Cult Of Mary’ are hardcore belters shot through with shards of melody, seething and writhing exactly as they should.
Long viewed as plucky underdogs who have survived (and prospered) through no little determination, it seems that the adversity of Carter’s departure has resulted in Gallows returning angrier and hungrier than ever. Mark my words: this bicycle has what it takes to go the distance.
They’ll be playing the Lock-Up Stage at this year’s Reading/Leeds festivals, before embarking on a full UK tour in October.
Ex Gallows singer Frank Carter has finally released the first offering from his new musical project Pure Love this week. Switching from raging hardcore to mainstream 80’s rock, this new song written with ex Hope Conspiracy member Jim Carroll has divided the Gallows fanbase like a marmite bomb and has more in common sound wise with Manic Street Preachers, Journey and The Darkness than previous mentors Black Flag, surprising many.
Watch the video of first single ‘Bury My Bones’ and if you like what you hear get a free download of the single here in exchange for some details.
Frank Carter announced that he was leaving Gallows on Saturday during the band’s explosive Sonisphere 2011 Festival set. After 6 years of fronting the UK’s most exciting punk band, Frank is about to move onto pastures new with his new project Pure Love.
After speaking with him in the band’s dressing room on Saturday, Frank admitted that Pure Love was much different to Gallows in musical terms. Fans will realise pretty quickly that shouting and screaming will be replaced by crooning and singing. He told us that Nick Cave and QOTSA, had more in common with the new project with Jim Carroll (whose previous projects have included Suicide File, Clouds, Hope Conspiracy) and that they have been writing tunes over the phone and internet and hooking up whenever in NYC. The pair will be recording their debut album in September and then will hit the road later this year so look out for announcements.
As for Gallows, they will continue to play without Frank, and they are about to announce the identity of their new vocalist, who is said to be Canadian, in the coming weeks. Look out for the last remaining shows with Frank at the helm at the dates below and embrace the changes.
10th SWANSEA SIN CITY
11th GLOUCESTER GUILDHALL
17th GUILDFORD GUILFEST ROCK CAVE
22nd COCKERMOUTH FESTIVAL
23rd ULU LONDON
Frank has this to say on leaving the band: “It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce my departure from Gallows. It seems that Gallows have hit a crossroads in our writing process and unfortunately myself and the rest of the boys have different ideas regarding the sound of Gallows going forward. Gallows have decided they are going to continue on without me and I wish the boys the best of luck for the future. Gallows will be fulfilling all of our current touring plans until August 1st so please come down to a show and help me make each show a total celebration!”
Watch the beginning and the end of Gallows’ amazing live set from the Sonisphere Festival from the stage here filmed by (we think) Frank’s Mum. We have had the pleasure of being very close to this band for 6 years and wish them all the very best with the 2 new projects. We will bring you fresh news when we get it.