*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Wisconsin.*
Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, High Gallows brings bluesy stoner rock with a guitar tone filthier than month-old bong water. Consisting of Shawn (vocals), Tim (guitar), Louie (guitar), Josh (bass), and Jon (drums), the underground quintet just finished up their stint on the Black Magic Flower Power tour with Black Pussy and released their debut album, ‘Hymns in the House of Son’ earlier this year. The album takes the listener on a sonic trip through the murky swamps of the psyche while channeling a similar doom and smoke-filled haze of Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard. It’s mostly a slow to mid-tempo, riff-heavy ride with vocals reminiscent of a more soulful, grittier Buzz Osbourne (Melvins).
Setting the pace for ‘Hymns in the House of Son’ is the opening, groove-laden track, “Wolves.” The guitars chug along fuzzily with a raw, in-your-face power – a consistent theme heard throughout much the album’s seven-song track list. One of my personal favorites, “Banditos and Barbiturates” offers some Helmet-esque riffing and killer vocal groove during the chorus.
The delectably trippy “Ghost of Appalachia” showcases everything High Gallows does best with its slow-as-molasses, tension-building riffing, and clean/dirty alternating vocals. The excellent groove and soul on the track complement the simple, yet atmospheric lyrics perfectly:
They call me
They speak to me
Our mountains shine
In the sweet summer breeze
The whiskey flows
And it speaks to me”
Changing the pace up a bit, “Banshee’s Howl” adds a little more metal flavor to the mix by kicking up the aggression and riff nastiness a few notches. The solo features some badass, bluesy guitar harmonies plucked straight out of the seventies. With so much to enjoy, it’s hard to pick a favorite track on the record.
Do yourself a favor and check out the killer music High Gallows has to offer via the links below. The band has wrapped their live show dates for the year, but be sure to keep an eye out for them in 2019 if you are in the Wisconsin and surrounding areas.