Dead By Monday – Almost Punk

Having earned a strong reputation for their live shows and energy, Scottish outfit Dead By Monday are out to spark similar praise on a broader scale with the release of debut EP, Almost Punk. Offering four slices of ferocious punk rock with an almost deceitful character as they reveal a far richer breeding of flavours once immersed in their roars, it is a release which not only warrants attention but pretty much commands it.

Formed in 2016 within the Glasgow music scene, Dead By Monday has as mentioned drawn great plaudits for their live dynamic and aggressive presence which has been rewarded with gigs alongside the likes of The Living End, Daggermouth, Annewrage, and WRCKG. Initially coming together with the intent of creating politically charged punk rock, the foursome soon found a harder, harsher, and heavier sound emerging but one still embracing their punk rock hearts alongside inspirations from the likes of Rage Against The Machine and The Dillinger Escape Plan, NOFX, and Gallows. Almost Punk is their first nationwide trespass and a very potent introduction it proved to be.

Certainly the EP was a slow burner with us, making a good first impression but really blossoming over time and listens as its creative depths emerged. The release opens with The First, and instantly had attentive ears with its simple but efficient opening punk bred riff. Paddy Chapman’s guitar is the lure, the throbbing bassline of Declan Buist a waiting trap before the song explodes into its rapacious and irritable stroll. The gruff tones of vocalist Murray Taylor are soon sharing its grievances as the swinging beats of Ciaran Whyte spark the track’s contagious gait and energy. There is little particularly unique about the track at first but with its mellower detours and sharp hooks grows into an ear grabbing proposal, those animated rhythms of Whyte particularly magnetic.

The following Dead Souls soon overshadows its predecessor, the excellent track a bruising slab of punk ‘n’ roll with a tasty line in hard rock to its twists and turns. Again Taylor’s vocals almost bully the listener as surrounding sounds work on their rocker instincts while spiky hooks and gang vocals make for an additionally tenacious incitement. Firmly the song took best track honours, though it was swiftly challenged by next up Our Doomsday. Straight away Whyte’s rolling punches had attention gripped, Buist quickly backing up the rich coaxing with its own throbbing bait. It is a magnificent start which in some small ways is followed by an anti-climax as the track opens up into its grouchy punk holler but it is a mere quibble as the track soon seduced the appetite with its snarling attack. There is something of Stiff Little Fingers to the song at times which does it no harm at all, indeed helps make it another bright spark in the growing potential and ready-made enterprise of the EP.

The closing Choke brings a post hardcore tone with its opening strains, clean vocals from Taylor strongly enticing with an underlying emotive warble well backed by the harmonic tones of Whyte. Eventually its captivation leads to the ferocious heart of the song, its hardcore instincts expelled with force and dexterity for a caustic finale. The most inventive and unpredictable track on the release it also challenges for top song honours, holding it for a while with its outstanding start and engaging imagination.

Almost Punk is an ear grabbing introduction to its creators but it is the potential and instinctive invention it carries and of which it suggests there is much more to come, that makes it more than just a great first encounter.

Almost Punk is released July 27th.

Pete RingMaster 25/07/2018

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Galleries – Darkness Coming


Guitar led indie bands are quite prevalent currently but few produce music with a depth that reaches beyond the ear and stays long after the sounds have ceased their charms. Glasgow quartet Galleries are one of the few exceptions. Their indie rock/pop has character and layers that result in songs which are full and very satisfying. Early 2010 the band made their first mark with the Galleries EP and notably the track Underground Overground, instantly making an impact on many people. The single Rocket Science improved upon that reaction as well as showing a further progression in their writing skills and new single Darkness Coming is another impressive step in their development though that is not to say they are lacking in any department now.   

Currently working on their debut album, Galleries have released Darkness Coming with a clear message that this is an indication of what will fill the future release and it will be worth all the eager anticipation. The song is simply a great pop song, instant and addictive but without submitting to any cheap tricks or obvious lures for the listener. The striking delicious dark bass riff from Adam Hall, the firm and taut drums of Andrew Black, and the soaring guitar play from Paul Campsie and David McAdam combine to tell a melody laced musical story. The vocals of McAdam are smooth with an occasional pleading tone that brought a sense of 80’s artist Pete Wylie, and bringing an edge to the quietly atmospheric sounds especially with the subdued backup vocals. Darkness Coming is also one of those great songs that is easily accessible but also cleverly holds something back for discovery on subsequent plays.

Already no strangers to air play with BBC Radio 1 Scotland, Darkness Coming will surely ensure that is repeated and further afield, especially with their popular live shows and festival appearances attracting more and more fans and great interest. Galleries are a band to watch and enjoy right now and the sooner their album appears from over the horizon the better. Theirs is a sound that just feels right in every way and leaves them wanting more every time.

Pete RingMaster 21/05/2011 Registered & Protected
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