GALLOWS play Lee's Palace tonight (Thursday, November 8). See listing. Rating: NNNN
Though lead screamer George Pettit described Alexonsfire's breakup as "not amicable," the other members of the long-standing St. Catharines emo-core band haven't taken long to bounce back. Dallas Green tours arenas as City & Colour, Jordan Hastings holds down the drums in Cunter, and now guitarist Wade MacNeil has taken over as lead singer of English hardcore heroes Gallows.
If you ask MacNeil, the union was one of pure convenience (he needed a band and Gallows needed a singer), but it's an inspired move. The band's heavy, high-octane assault gets an extra kick of power from MacNeil's throaty growl, making their third LP their most direct and pummelling yet.
The subject matter, very UK-centric under former leader Frank Carter, is now more accessible to a wider geographical audience. They still write about old hardcore standbys personal and political frustration, but MacNeil brings a unique North American perspective. Standout song Last June, for instance, describes his disillusionment behind the security fence at Toronto's 2010 G20 summit.
Top track: Last June