Gallops are a band that, until earlier this year, had regrettably passed me by. I knew the name, and knew vaguely of their music, but it wasn’t until a support slot at a Maybeshewill gig that I realised just what I was missing. Gallops’ sound is a guttural, primal one: its intricate instrumental math-rock is strewn with killer guitar riffs and synth lines. At times reminiscent of Battles, Gallops’ music always feels exciting and engaging.
Leaping between time signatures like a rabbit on crack, the Welsh band are undoubtedly extremely talented. They excel at weaving numerous threads of glorious noise together into one musical tapestry and play their instruments with a real vitality, urging the listener to become lost deeper and deeper in their world of thunderous instrumentalism.
At first, opener Astaroth appears to be the weakest track on the album: glitchy and mainly electronic, it doesn’t quite represent the record ahead. Looking back from the LP’s tail-end, though, it becomes a vital piece of the puzzle; a slow-building introduction to Gallops’ sound. Mid-album track Lasers is quite frankly stunning, blending a driving bass groove with delicate bursts of synth and wailing guitars. The amazingly-titled Jeff Leopard, too, is just as danceable with the rhythm section cantering away at a hell of a pace under some tight guitar and synth work.
Album closer Crutches is a sprawling masterpiece, encompassing so many sounds it’s hard to know where to begin. Bass, drums, guitars and keys frolic freely in amongst one another to create an extraordinary sonic experience. By the band’s own account, the track was initially much shorter, but due to extended jams at the ends of gigs became the massive behemoth it is today.
Throughout the album, wave upon wave upon wave of creativity washes over the listener; not one note, however, seems superfluous. While lesser bands may have crumbled under the pressure of so much invention, Gallops have crafted an album packed with emotion and, most importantly, fun. Proving they could walk before they could gallop with 2010’s self-titled debut EP, Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore has been a long time coming. Fingers crossed it’s less than two years before their next release.
Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore by Gallops is out now on Blood & Biscuits.