Gallon Drunk - 'The Road Gets Darker From Here' (Cloud Hills Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 05:00

gallondrunkA band that first showed up on my rock 'n' roll radar when they released the superb 'Some Fools Mess' back in the early '90s, an album that, once I had bought it, got me hooked on their rock 'n' roll swamp sound and the fact that they weren't going to dance to anyone else's drum beat but their own, and fuck the consequences.


Well fast forward a couple of decades and Gallon Drunk are still kicking up a shit storm of howling guitars and swamp blues stomp, still shaking their shit to their own beat having been through many line up changes along the way.


'The Road Gets Darker From Here' is certainly a howling hotch-potch of everything that's good, exciting, dangerous and hip as fuck! It is a sparkling return to form and once again I'm hooked like I was back in those halcyon days of '91 as James Johnston hoists the 'fuck you' finger in the air and stomps on that feedback box. Let's go do work, gentlemen.


Lead single 'You Made Me' bursts out of the speakers with a distortion-heavy riff that just grabs you by the scruff and throws your musical senses against the proverbial brick wall. James Johnston has lost none of his menace as he wields the guitar round the speakers as he sets the tempo for what's to come. 'You Made Me' has plenty of snot in the vocal delivery and is just a simple groove-laden rock 'n' roll track that hits the bullseye, plain and simple.


Spread out over eight tracks 'Hanging On' is one dark mofo and I'm hearing reminders of bands like Thee Hypnotics and The Stooges but all unmistakably Gallon Drunk. It's dark, seedy and twisted. 'A Thousand Year' is positively huge and a sprawling wall of guitars threatens to blow my speakers. We take a bit of a breather on 'Stuck In My Head' as the band kick back into a more mellow song, with added depth on the backing vocals provided by Marion Andrau this song has the feel of early rock 'n' roll when they realised they could write great pop songs.


We reach the halfway point and 'Killing Time' is driven in on a deluge of voodoo drumming and shimmering echoing guitars as Gallon Drunk get seedier than a 1970s Times Square as we get hoofed around to some haunting hypnotic sax blowing, but the rhythmic drumming that takes this song home is sprawling and captivating, simply sublime. We get taken down to the delta for 'The Big Breakdown' as Gallon Drunk opens up its full arsenal from the grunting bass to the sleazy organ and funky saxophone as well as everything in between.  We're brought to a dark ending on the album closer as 'The Perfect Dancer' turns the lights off and haunts the ether with its wall of noise and floor tom beating. 


Gallon Drunk are back baby and this time maybe they'll get the recognition they so thoroughly deserve. Just don't leave it quite so long 'til the next one please chaps!


If the Jim Jones Revue are currently tickling your fancy then why not see how the grand daddies of the seedier side of the road do it as they knock out a fluid and cohesive album - one that's both dark ('Killing Time') and light ('Stuck In My Head'), uneasy and angry yet thoroughly engaging and enjoyable, and one that would be a worthy addition to your record collection - no question about it.


To pick up your copy of 'THE ROAD GETS DARKER FROM HERE' - Click Here