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EP Review :Gallows Circus

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Gallows Circus are a four piece band from Kent who formed at the end of 2016. This is their debut 5 track EP  that was released at the end of 2017 and is full of dirty, sleazy, blues based rock n roll music, inspired by bands such as Free, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy and Reef.  The quality of the musicianship within the band is evident on the EP and has earnt the band critical acclaim since it’s release.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgTuPP6d3qA&w=560&h=315]
This EP has been on near constant rotation in my car since the weekend and I just don’t want to stop listening to it. The catchy rhythm in each track along with the outstanding guitar work, just induce your fingers and feet to tap at will and the lyrics which are put across with such feeling and melody make you want to sing, sing and sing some more.
Opening track, Game On, really sets the tone for the EP as it kicks in with a blistering, swirling guitar riff from Jim, before the rhythm section of Steve and Richard kick start the pulsating beat that drives the song. When you then add Ian’s impressive bluesy rock vocals, the song grips you right in the pit of your stomach and starts you on your journey through an outstanding 5 tracks. This really is a full on bluesy rocker that has an infectious groove, with an almost funky feel to it in places.
Bones to Pick starts off with a lovely delicate guitar intro behind a soulful and bluesy vocal that helps build the track into another epic rocker. It really gives Ian a chance to show off his vocal skills to the full as he goes from a bluesy ballad style into emotive, raspy rock which works perfectly with the time changes within the song. Well, those time changes are so impressive, they build you up and then let you straight back down again and when they are up, the sleazy, dirty guitar that drives the track is just immense and when the pace drops off, the emotion and melody really grabs you . I absolutely adore this track and it deserves to be a future classic!
Good For Fever is a great mid-tempo rocker. The guitar part that starts off this seductive number has a real blues vibe to it with a bit of a funky undertone. Once again the vocals have a real soulful bluesy feel to them which puts real emotion into the way the lyrics are put across and makes the bands music so special. The quality of the rhythm section, pulsating bass lines and kick ass drum beat,  is so evident as the tempo of the track picks up midway to develop this into another full on rocker. Add to that the sleazy, bluesy guitar work that is once again so evident in the guitar solo and you have another fine slab of dirty blues the band are building their reputation on. Another superb ending to a song and what has quickly become apparent is these boys know how to build a track perfectly.
Next up is Holding My Breath, the EP’s ballad, not like those 80’s power ballads but a real rip snorter full of passion that gets you right in the pit of your stomach. Starting with another beautifully melodic guitar intro it showcases the emotion in Ian Day’s vocals perfectly once again. The song builds wonderfully to a really powerful chorus that will have you singing at the top of your voice and waving, as is now the way, your mobile phone with torch turned on from side to side. I love the way Ian so effortlessly uses the higher end of his vocal range to such great effect at the end of this track, so much so, you can almost feel the pain he is singing about.
Last but not least is Above Snakes and if there was ever a track to finish an EP with that just leaves you craving more it this rip snorter of a rocker. Starting off with a real swirling guitar intro it grabs you by the balls and spins you round as fast as Jim’s guitar leads you into the track. I defy anybody to listen to this without banging their head and pumping their fist! It is a real dirty, sleazy blues rocker with all the attributes the band are gaining a reputation on, powerful drums, solid basslines, emotive vocals and top quality guitars.
I have really fallen in love with this EP. The quality of the musicianship, song writing and production is, in my opinion, outstanding and I for one cannot wait for the next EP or maybe, hopefully a full album. Whilst I wait for that I have this little gem for company and will catch the band live whenever I can. More information on the band can be found at www.gallowscircus.co.uk
Tracklisting
Game On
Bones To Pick
Good For My Fever
Holding My Breath
Above Snakes
Gallows Circus are
Ian Day – Vocals
Jim Rycroft – Guitar
Richard Tunbridge – Bass
Steve Kitchener – Drums
Review by Darren smith
Photography by Darren Smith
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