Gallows, As I Lay Dying
Russ Essom 11/01/2007
Plastic pint glasses bounced and bobbled across the top of a dark, excited crowd, spitting the dregs of beer that nobody ever drinks over fellow As I Lay Dying fans. We waited - impatiently - for the support act. They couldn't give a fuck how long for.
Finally, five rough, straight-from-the-street southerners prowled onto the stage, crowd lights dimmed, stage lights raised, and the slaughter began.
Slugged by a constant assualt of seriously hard, fast guitars, the audience jumped and punched and fell, unable to keep up with the pace of the seriously punk, seriously metal, seriously British, seriously league-of-its-own stage show.
Musically, Gallows have talent, drums are fast but sound comfortable, bass is complex and quick, the odd hint of a bass solo allowing the enormous bass player to really show his abilities.
However, there wasn't a lot to see from these two guys on stage; the guitarists really took the piss up there. Fast, exciting and difficult guitar sounds flung at the 'pit from all angles, coming from guitars that were being hurled around the guitarists bodies. These guys weren't your average head-banging upstarts, though, they were more than that, seriously hard moshing and dancing went on in the spotlight, blowing away the audience of all ages.
Now for the climax of the show - the vocalist. Imagine Johnny Rotten, (still ginger), but multiply the sarcasm, the cockiness, the anger, the aggression and the stage presence by a factor of about 1 million. You're nearly there. This bloke's vocals are constant, rip-roaring chants of pure power, and his performance is even better. Around 30 seconds into the set, he jump down from the stage, topless and heavily tattooed and sang the rest of the gig from the moshpit.
For a little fella', he meant serious business and believe me, see him at a gig and you'd keep out his way - he's an absolute machine, able to beat up the hardest of fans, vocally or physically, in a second. His cocky insults to the more lairy of those in attendance are second-to-none; he wasn't afraid to take the piss out of anyone who dared mock his ginger hair, small physique, his band, even sticking up for Watford FC at one point.
Seriously, if you like it hard fast and heavy, and so many of us do, you'll fall in love with this dirty, growling, horrible, fast and hard band. Go see them…
Oh, and there's not a lot wrong with the album either.
Photo courtesy of www.jmophoto.co.uk