Gallops – Bronze Mystic

Album Review by Joe Goggins | 18 Apr 2017
Album title: Bronze Mystic
Artist: Gallops
Label: Blood and Biscuits
Release date: 21 Apr

It always did feel a little premature when Gallops called it a day in 2013, just a year after the release of their debut full-length, Dr. Hardcore.

Happily, the Wrexham noiseniks have recognised the rashness of that decision and duly reversed it, returning as a three-piece with a record that takes the moody post-rock of their first effort and imbues it with electronics. The album’s centrepiece, the pummeling seven-minute Darkjewel, serves as its blueprint, too. The landscape change at the midpoint sums up Bronze Mystic as it moves from four minutes of thumping foreboding – think early Tim Hecker – before the brief respite of pretty, arpeggiated guitars give way to a chaotic second half, with aggressive synth spiralling over violent percussion.

In effect, it feels like the various components of Darkjewel are deconstructed and examined in detail elsewhere on the album; the atmosphere isn’t always one of creeping dread, with the juddering keys and languid guitars on Pale Force pointing towards something considerably more minor key, whilst the rhythm of Crystal Trap is spiky, nudging the band towards dance-punk territory. The influence of latter-day 65daysofstatic continues to weigh heavy over Gallops – you can see where they’ve taken their cues from the likes of We Were Exploding Anyway and Wild Light on Shakma and Graverobber, for instance – but they make those touchpoints their own and, elsewhere, continue to make their own lane, too. 

Prince 0 is probably the best case in point, a glorious experiment in funk on which samples are chopped up and incorporated into the Gallops palette seamlessly. Bronze Mystic feels like genuine progression from the band and there’s a palpable sense of vitality and renewal running through it, too; the break seems to have done them a world of good, but let’s hope they don’t throw the towel back in quite so quickly this time.

Listen to: Darkjewel, Pale Force, Prince 0

Buy Gallops - Bronze Mystic on LP/CD from Norman Records