Sound — 8
Nasty and gnarly. That's Grey Britain in a nutshell. This is the kind of music that will incite the kids toiling in dank, grey-skyed steel towns in England to toss bank a pint and pump their fists, as well as inspiring them to make a difference. London is the Reason, Death Voices and Leeches are anthems from stem to stern; they are full of three rippin' chords and hearty singalongs. Whether they like it or not, or even like to admit it or not, Gallows are trying to kick off a revolution with Grey Britain, an album that maintains a singular pace throughout. There's no slow parts or quiet moments of contemplative reflection. Gallows and Grey Britain exhaust every riff, beat and note. The album is meant to inspire you to do something, anything. Black Eyes is a gritty guitar monster, stuffed with riffs that will convert normally punk-shy metalheads into believers, too.
Lyrics — 9
You don't even need to see long and lean, tattoo-covered and spindly vocalist Frank Carter, who has gone on record to say that Gallows are a hobby for him and that his true passion is his work as a tattoo artist, in the live setting to feel his intensity. Carter spews his politically-charged, sweeping lyrics with such fury that you can envision little gobs of white spit forming at the corners of his mouth while he sings his lungs and larynx rawer than a side of beef! Carter's words, which go from sweeping to specific, are as provocative as his delivery, and his British accent is often easily detectable while he's screaming like a banshee. He paints a picture of the grim state of his native country and often talks about tucking a knife into his shoe or going out and looking for some trouble with a pair of brass knuckles or loving misery as much as she loves him. While it's obvious that he's using these references as metaphors for the bleak state of the world we live in and such phrasings don't feel like a call to violence, Carter's words certainly ain't pretty nor are they bullshit! It's subversive stuff that doesn't go down easy. But then again, if Carter's words were pleasantly palpable, it would dull or blunt some of Gallows' super-sharpened edge.
Overall Impression — 9
Punk rock is meant to get people pissed off, to ruffle feathers and ultimately, to try and exact change. The music helps the disaffected punk rockers get the red out and to turn their rage into productive action. It's the truest form of music as expression, art and effecter. Grey Britain is a sweaty opus that gets that job done and re-ignites the somewhat dormant, tried n true punk rock furnace. Gallows get under the skin of the listener and it doesn't hurt that the antagonistic lyrics are set to three chords that are as venomous as they are melodic. The melodies will help you remember the music, which will further push you to do change your situation if you don't like it!