Gallows - Gallows

The third album is always the tough one - the need to reinvent a band often spells the end. In the case of Gallows and their forthcoming third, self-titled album, they have managed to not simply jump the proverbial fence, but they shot up and pissed all over it. Because this is their best output since their demo - and, frankly (no pun intended), I did not expect to be so utterly taken by just how good it is.

Let's be honest, that geezer from Alexisonfire who has replaced Frank looks quite awkwardly distant from the rest of the band in the press photos. But on the album, he seems to have given Gallows a whole new dimension - I found Grey Britain a stale version of what had gone before - but the new Gallows sound works on a different level to anything they had put out in the past.

For a start, the musicianship seems to have come on leaps and bounds. The slick production only adds to Wade's take on things. And there are hooks and memorable riffs aplenty. Lead track Victim Culture, after a brief intro, is just the kind of dirty sounding, gang vocalled melodic hardcore everyone who loves Gallows will have hoped for. It seems too like Wade has managed to inject an urgency that the band once had but were in slight danger, for me, of losing.

There are stand out moments all over the place - for me, probably Everybody Loves You (When You're Dead) is the real, absolute killer, but lead single Last June and the last track on the record Cross Of Lorraine are absolutely vintage tracks. It's hard to actually categorise the record to sum it up easily here - it has the sleazy element that gives it a greasy punk edge, set around a background of Comeback Kid style gang vocals and elements of more intense BoySetsFire.

I can't see too many people not enjoying this record if they were always Gallows fans. Simple as.