AlbumsNovember 29, 20119,346 views

Gallows Orchestra of Wolves


01. Kill the Rhythm 02. Come Friendly Bombs 03. Abandon Ship 04. In The Belly Of A Shark 05. Six Years 06. Rolling With The Punches 07. Last Fight For the Living Dead 08. Just Because You Sleep Next To Me Doesn't Mean You Are Safe 09. Will Someone Shoot That Fucking Snake 10. Stay Cold 11. I Promise This Won't Hurt 12. Orchestra Of Wolves 13. Sick Of Feeling Sick 14. Black Heart Queen 15. Nervous Breakdown (Black Flag)
2007 Epitaph Records
Our score 6

by Cory
8/7/2007

I have a theory as to how America ends up with so many British exports. My guess is that British music fans and press are so desperate to have something they can call their own, they latch onto anything moderately enjoyable with such fervor that it immediately starts the hype machine and the wheels in the heads of record companies on this side of the Atlantic. Without John Peel alive to tell the world which of these artists are actually worth our time, we get these artists crammed down our throats at full force by the PR machines and don't have the time to determine whether or not they're even any good. Sometimes we end up with an inexplicable yet welcome success like Amy Winehouse and sometimes we end up with insipid garbage like Oasis or the Arctic Monkeys. In the UK, hardcore rock act Gallows has somehow become one of the most successful acts of the last few years and their debut album, Orchestra of Wolves has now officially found its way to the US courtesy of Epitaph Records who have lengthened and repackaged it for our consumption. When I first heard this record a year or so ago, it didn't strike me as anything particularly fresh or even compelling. Orchestra of Wolves is a Boston hardcore-influenced rock record dressed-up as something bigger. The albums is oddly mixed, hastily written and poorly packaged (twice!) but it's somehow not complete garbage. "Kill The Rhythm" is a strong starter and a good indication of what the band can do at their best. The angular riffing of "In The Belly Of A Shark" somehow makes up for the aggressively mediocre content of "Abandon Ship" or the over-long indulgence of its follow-up "Six Years." In a way, I'm thankful that this album arrived with fanfare and hoopla because it forced me to examine it more thoroughly. What at first seemed like a forgettable hardcore record turned out to be a record so of such uneven quality that it's hard to believe the same band wrote the whole thing. "Rolling With The Punches" features some awful clean vocals and a dreadfully orchestrated outro. "Last Fight For The Living Dead" is an unnecessary and stylistically obnoxious interlude that leads into the inspired "Just Because You Sleep Next To Me." "Will Someone Shoot That Fucking Snake" sounds kinda like what Norma Jean might sound like if they were a much better band. In fact, the second half of the record towers over the first half until you get to the disc's title track, a confusing ode to predatory sex that alternately combines lines like "washing my cum off your fucking face" and a repeated quote from Moulin Rouge. Seriously. The three bonus tracks Epitaph has added to the record keep the record from ending on that note, but they don't really add much to the record as a whole. "Sick Of Feeling Sick" is a mid-tempo snoozer that lacks the intensity of even the most boring of the album's original twelve cuts. "Black Heart Queen" finds the band exploring their rock side a little more and it's actually a pretty good fit despite its length. Finally, an oddly transposed version of Black Flag's all-time hardcore classic "Nervous Breakdown" really just highlights the hardcore attitude that these guys are lacking. Their obvious devotion to the song but complete inability to recapture what made the original so compelling reminded me of watching one of Eli Roth's horror homages. Despite one's best intentions and possession of all the necessary tools, lack of imagination and genuine talent keep showing through. I guess the key thing to remember is that this is a first record and it shows in every way possible. Gallows might have developed into a terrific band. I say "might have" because they recently signed a multi-million dollar record deal with Warner Bros. Records and somehow I doubt the label brass is going to allow them to develop their talents in any positive way. I'm guessing it's not exactly conducive to good hardcore songwriting when you're certifiable rock stars at home and your first tour of the US is a high-profile spot on the Warped Tour alongside punk giants like Bad Religion and Alkaline Trio. Who knows. I'm hoping Gallows proves me wrong because there's quite a bit to like about Orchestra of Wolves. Bottom Line: Gallows are a young, reasonably talented hardcore-influenced rock act whose debut album Orchestra of Wolves features plenty of enjoyable moments. If they can determine what honestly works from the crap and filler, their next album will probably be spectacular. While it may not seem that they're worthy of their hype at the moment, I have hope that they'll grow into it with time.

30 comments

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hotaction_ 8/7/2007 1:37:22 PM

more wolves!


dibky_ 8/7/2007 1:38:17 PM

Cory's gay. I enjoy.


Fur_Beach_ 8/7/2007 1:48:08 PM

the title track's lyrics are ridiculous. but they were about the only interesting thing I found about this album.


sumballo_botrues_ 8/7/2007 1:49:47 PM

wow, i totally disagree with this review. i saw this band live when i lived in england without knowing a thing about them. i ended up buying this record after the show and loved it. whether they've signed a major label deal or not, this is undoubtedly one of the best releases of the last year.


anonymous 8/7/2007 2:35:50 PM

oasis...garbage? no wonder everyone hates you and your shitty reviews.


jerry_seinfeld_ 8/7/2007 2:43:02 PM

"..hastily written" ...like your reviews?


what_is_wrong_with_you_ 8/7/2007 2:48:30 PM

Amy Winehouse welcome? can't agree with you there.


hotslutswithtits_ 8/7/2007 2:49:59 PM

{Sometimes we end up with an inexplicable yet welcome success like Amy Winehouse and sometimes we end up with insipid garbage like Oasis or the Arctic Monkeys.} DWEP THIS f*ckING gay


Set_phasers_to_gay_ 8/7/2007 2:55:18 PM

What's the Story, Morning Glory is > anything you will ever do in life, Cory. Talk about filler... about 50% of every review you write is just that. The other 50% is pretentious crap.


grudgecityhxc_ 8/7/2007 3:29:03 PM

this wouldn't have been a bad review if you wouldn't have ruined it with your oasis comments, you f*cking dork.


joe_ 8/7/2007 3:59:51 PM

TLNR


anonymous 8/7/2007 4:01:18 PM

What is angular riffing?


arty_mcfarty_ 8/7/2007 4:57:59 PM

i saw that this album got a 6 and once again, i knew exactly who reviewed this.........f*ck you cory, you stinking piece of shit


arty_mcfarty_ 8/7/2007 5:00:10 PM

"Rolling With The Punches" features some awful clean vocals and a dreadfully orchestrated outro....................................coming from someone who likes the blood brothers AND the locust...........the syphilis that will come and rot your dick off can only come too soon


TheWood_ 8/7/2007 5:12:39 PM

Amy Winehouse is indeed the shit; she's got more soul than most of the garbage that comes from the States. Oasis is indeed shit; they thought they were the Beatles, but only had the egos...no originality and only a handful of "alright" songs.


OcommodityO_ 8/7/2007 5:37:01 PM

didn't make it past the first paragraph, you are a moron


nergal_ 8/7/2007 5:43:24 PM

You're not fit to reference John Peel, ass master.


my_fist_your_face_ 8/7/2007 5:44:00 PM

I read up to "Sometimes we end up with an inexplicable yet welcome success like Amy Winehouse". Then I scrolled down to see what sort of retard could say something so mind numbingly dumb, and sure enough it was you Cory. Good job being a f*cking idiot.


simonbrody_ 8/7/2007 5:46:15 PM

oasis insipid... lost all respect for cory there


denbez_ 8/7/2007 7:43:32 PM

Good review. f*ck these dumbasses.


anonymous 8/7/2007 10:36:25 PM

seriously.. what the f*ck is angular riffing?


Electrickle_ 8/7/2007 10:50:25 PM

Terrible band, what was Mr.Brett thinking signing these guys? He had his mind on his money, and his money on his mind.


sweetzombiejesus_ 8/8/2007 12:05:38 AM

multi-MILLION?!?!


d._ 8/8/2007 5:25:03 PM

this albums sucks


Franklin Delano Bluth_ 8/8/2007 5:40:40 PM

Eli Roth is awesome. Reviewer is a gay.


Hater_ 8/9/2007 12:09:01 PM

This band sucks! They need to listen to more Bane and learn what great hardcore sounds like.


Lamy Manhorse_ 8/26/2007 5:28:30 AM

Amy Whinehouse is a man!


JV_ 8/27/2007 1:05:12 PM

well, cory is a gay. that's basically all I have to say about this review. and he obviously hasn't seen them live.


Duranite_ 9/4/2007 11:59:37 AM

you f*cking f*ck. go die im going to kill you. the gallows are nice.. i enjoy them.. i would like to c-m on the reviewers f*cking face


Oasissucksdick_ 10/11/2009 3:02:55 PM

Amy Winehouse is indeed the shit; she's got more soul than most of the garbage that comes from the States. Oasis is indeed shit; they thought they were the Beatles, but only had the egos...no originality and only a handful of "alright" songs.