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THE GODDAMN GALLOWS – ‘The Trial’ Album Review

THE GODDAMN GALLOWS – The Trial

The Goddamn GallowsThe Goddamn Gallows formed in 2004 and have released six studio albums. Emerging from the heart of America’s Rust Belt they cemented their sound in Portland, OR and later in Los Angeles, CA, where they lived in abandoned buildings, squatter camps, storage units and shoebox apartments.

In 2007, they left everything behind and spent the next four years living out of whatever vehicle would get them to the next town and they began picking up stray musicians along the way and adding to their sound; washboard, accordion, mandolin and banjo creating a sound referred to as “hobocore”, “gypsy-punk” or “Americana-punk.

The instrumental opening, Grassmuncher features a lonely banjo that is soon joined by other instruments to create a circle-pit inducing romp.

Blackened Soul features gritty vocals and a sound akin to Colorado country punks, 16 Horsepower. The track waltzes along with a menacing vibe for over five and a half minutes. The ten-track album continues with a foreboding atmosphere with It’s Gonna Be Ok (No, it’s not) and it sounds like what I expect a Cormac McCarthy novel would sound like if it could sing! Gritty, suspenseful and then exploding into a gypsy punk hoe-down that is great fun and then back to the slower sections full of power and menace.

Shitwish features a Hammer House of Horror organ, vocals that sound like an exorcism and a raucous romp breaks out and it all combines to produce one the strangest punk rock sounds of the year! At the half-way point, another five-minute plus track, When No One’s Around showcases The Goddamn Gallows at their very best with a ballad that pulls on The Animals, Metallica and Nick Cave…excellent stuff!

The title track is next and The Trial has a more up front guitar churning out the power chords whilst the banjo, xylophone (I think?) and fast paced drums create a gypsy/country/eastern European vibe that just rocks along. On City Of Fools a rhythmic approach driven by a machine-gun drum and guitar is mingled with a fast paced frolic and it’s followed up with the heavier Honeyhole.

The penultimate song on this terrific album, Dreadful Sinner, is another strong effort where pounding drums accompany a plaintive banjo lick before the heavy guitar, bass and melodic vocals kick in. I loved this track as it built with the instruments complimenting and adding to the overall foot-stomping atmosphere.

Closing with the six-minute plus Down With The Ship, The Goddamn Gallows channel Tom Waits for a slow ballad opening replete with gravelly vocals. The storytelling intertwines sparse section with big choruses and seals the deal. Super release!

 

Check out The Trial by The Goddamn Gallows at the following link:  http://www.thegoddamngallows.com/

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