Label: Blood & Biscuits Release date: 23/08/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon Gallops are an incredible live band. In fact, they are probably the best band I have ever seen live. Each song performed has such energy and power behind it. It makes you want to stomp, shout, kick. And yet, the release of this, their debut EP, is something that may well be met with a fair amount of anxiety from those who have seen and appreciated them live before. And the fact that this EP is such a long time coming (the band is nearing 3 years of age) is unlikely to have eased anxieties, either. Are the songs not sounding as good as live? Are they struggling to pack all of the energy and passion from their live shows on to a recording? Maybe the sheer volume of noise at the gigs has masked some kind of flaw or weakness that audiences have yet to spot at a live outing? Actually, no. None of the above is true. The Holy Roar/Blood and Biscuits released self-titled debut, thankfully, lives up to all expectation. Album opener, the oddly titled “0100011101001111”, is a 100 second noisey electro ease-in to the havoc that is about to follow – before the typical sound of Gallops comes with “Oh The Manatee”. Buzzy bass drone, snare rolls and cymbal bell combos meet heavy guitar riffs and more delicate - typically math-rock - finger-tap’n’slide guitar work. These create the ‘organic’ electro noises whilst the laptop provides the dirty GM crop. Dirty and synthetic it may be, but said laptop provides an almost anthemic, yet completely vocal-free, chorus that vibrates, bleeps and almost squelches. Track 3, “Sonderhof”, opens relatively innocently, all drum technique and guitar work - before the water-bubble electro bleeps kick in; bringing a smile to your face if only for the shear cheek of making such noises on a record. Like much of the EP, it swells, layers are added, until your head feels like it can take little more. It’s bloody good though. A big noisey electro explosion, in slow motion. Comparisons are always bound to come. Battles, Holy Fuck, Errors. Yes. But, think Battles without some of the pretence, Holy Fuck without the stubborn, almost gimmicky (but admirable, still), refusal to use any sort of “modern technology”. Gallops praise is entirely deserved, and their work is far from a carbon-copy of the aforementioned acts’. Tracks 4 and 5, “Defbox” and “Miami Spider”, continue in similar fashion to the rest of the EP. “Defbox” hears the first vocals in the form of a slightly odd sample and drums are, as ever on this release, impressive and fairly key to success. “Miami Spider” hears the band at their most Battles-y, it’s as easy to dance to as it is to just sit back and enjoy the musicianship on display, closing with the longest track on the record at over 5 minutes long. This is no criticism though, as long as Gallops continues the better for all. Just as their live shows make you want to stomp, shout, kick; Gallops’ EP does the same. Photobucket