Three years ago, Gallops! were a band diligently touring and saving to fund their first EP. Now, having long dispensed with the exclamation mark because “it was bloody stupid”, their prolonged transition from a buzz band working towards their first EP to a band releasing their first album is over.
That self-titled Gallops EP was a raw, opening salvo; a collection of tracks driven by a dark, vibrant tension, bludgeoning percussion and an immediate electronic pulse. They were tracks that carried the early hallmarks of the band’s complex, technical ambition and ‘Yours Sincerely, Dr. Hardcore’ powerfully delivers on that promise.
It’s a debut that moves at a bruising pace, Dave Morait’s brutal hitting power, crashing through the digital tapestry created by Mark Huckridge, Paul Maurice and Brad Whyte. Armed with the gargantuan ‘Astoroth’ and the equally coruscating ‘Crutches’, it’s an album blessed with two booming bookends.
Ignited by the black-hole implosion of its opener, ‘Yours Sincerely…’ quickly drives into a high-tempo blaze of piston-punch beats, stabbing guitar and flickering electronics that leave little recovery time between impacts.
No sooner has ‘Astoroth’’s bombast dissipated than the waspish circuit-board electronica of ‘Jeff Leopard’ is powering toward the dropped chord aggression of ‘Hongliday’ before levelling out with ‘Lasers’’s melodic, squelching, rhythms. It’s symptomatic of Gallops big-impact approach to their live shows and it translates on record quite brilliantly. And not content to let anything settle for too long, the itchy Foals flourishes of ‘Rhythm is a Mystery’, and the playful ‘G is for Jaille’, showcase a band confident and competently toying with structures and time signatures, always ready to fudge the math-rock numbers with writhing, hook-laden electronica and Pandora’s post-rock box. This is A resurgent reminder of Gallops’ potential and a debut that was worth the wait.