Battles-indebted Wrexham quartet delivers an enticing introductory EP.
Mike Diver 2010
The elephant isn’t so much as in the room as sitting on your lap, turning your feet blue: Gallops sound a lot like Battles. It’s mainly the guitars, which dance with an undeniable rigidity. But there are further echoes: the way that the drums come on like steam engine pistons, the wriggly nature of the bass beneath the sharp surface angles; the electronics, which squelch and splat rather than fizz and crackle. But none of this is a bad thing.
The Wrexham-spawned quartet might be primarily playing the role of as-flattery imitators on this five-track introductory EP, but such is the level of their technical ability that at no point does the shadow of influences totally obscure their art. Influences, plural, because there is more here than a number of nods to the aforementioned New York math-rockers; more, like undertones of 65daysofstatic’s build-and-release dynamics, like Errors’ hip-swinging party vibes, and even some LCD Soundsystem synth-slickness. Three Trapped Tigers fans will find much to like, too. Add a hefty, post-hardcore crunch to some of the chunkier guitar passages and the end product is a hugely enjoyable affair.
Original it isn’t, but even during the unmistakeably Battles-indebted closer, Miami Spider, there’s the suggestion of greater things to come from this outfit. It’s like this short-play set is an offloading of material that they’ve honed through live performance, a suitable send-off for songs that might not find their place when an album comes into focus. That may not be the case, these numbers very much the Right Now of things; but if such a hunch is right, What Comes Next could well be something special.
What Gallops most certainly can offer at present are songs that will translate brilliantly live (watch their Introducing performances) – and with no shortage of dates forthcoming anyone fond of the above-listed parallels is encouraged to make a date in their diary. Oh, the Manatee’s frantic finish is accompanied by frenzied strobes in the mind’s eye, and will be even better in the flesh; the persistent pulse of Defbox, meanwhile, will rock any venue’s foundations in riveting fashion. The groundwork is done, then – now, to stride on and make merry in a singular fashion across a debut long-play collection.
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