You could try to describe instrumental U.K. outfit Gallops‘ sound, but the group’s Myspace bio probably says it best: “Gallops are where live electronics and jagged guitars meet on the floor and thrash the s**t out of each other until neither one is left standing.”
Other than that, you could say that the band plays an amorphous mix of metal, electronic and math rock, with guitar and synth textures wound tightly atop robust drumkit grooves. The band sounds like a heavier version of Battles, but classifying its sound is a futile effort, and the guys in Gallops seem to have fun joking about that fact. In interviews, they’ve described themselves as anything from “geek-rock” to “cyber-soul.”
“We sound like an android Dionne Warwick,” guitarist and keyboardist Mark Huckridge tells CMJ.
Gallops has been playing together since 2007 in various shapes and forms, but today it is made up of Huckridge, drummer Dave Morait, keyboardist Paul Maurice and guitarist Brad Whyte. “The band formed initially as a bit of fun before eventually we all started taking ourselves too seriously and began trying to make proper music,” Huckridge says.
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The band comes from a small town called Wrexham in North Wales, a former industrial hub that has developed a vibrant music scene during the past few years. “It’s a very small place, but there is a great sense of community there,” Huckridge says. “I think it would have been more difficult for us to get attention as musicians if we were from a big city.”
That may be the case, but city or no city, Gallops has been getting a lot of attention over the past year and a half. The band released its debut self-titled EP on Holy Roar/Blood And Biscuits last year, but so far, Gallops has made its biggest splash playing live.
“In my opinion it’s the best way to experience music for both the performer and the listener,” Huckridge says. “We seemed to click with each other as performers straight away.”
The band is at its best onstage, where the members thrash their way through their intricate four-minute compositions without ever missing a beat or hitting a sour note. Gallops’ live prowess is well recognized, and the still-young band has already been invited to play some impressive gigs. Gallops headlined the BBC Introducing stages at last year’s Reading and Leeds festivals and stirred up quite a bit of buzz with its sets at SXSW this year. Watch some videos of the band playing live, and you’ll quickly see why (or become suspicious that the videos have been dubbed over with the studio recordings).
Gallops has been writing new material during the past year, and Huckridge describes the new stuff as being heavier than the band’s previous output. “Not ‘heavy’ as in metal ‘heavy’ necessarily but heavier on the brain,” he says. “That’s the only way I could describe it really. It’s a lot more complicated composition wise too. We get bored easily.”
Gallops will avoid boredom for the rest of 2011, as the band spends the summer recording its debut LP before heading out in September for a European tour that extends through the end of the year. And if things continue to pick up for Gallops like they are right now, these guys will be keeping busy for quite some time.
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