Album review: Dead, Gone and Living On – The Gallowgate Murders

Dead, Gone and Living On is the first EP from Scottish folk-punk band The Gallowgate Murders, who started out in 2019 hand, has before this EP released some singles.

The EP is opening up in a way that makes me think I’m listening to the Real McKenzies on the track Labyrinth Alley. The style and the voice is very much alike, perhaps because both frontmans are from Scotland and therefore has very much the same accent. The influences are clearly heard here. There are however some dual vocals from the male and the female leads that mixes things up a bit.

On the second track it’s more of the dual vocals. A little bit slower in tempo and with a raw chorus that all of a sudden sounds like I’m listening to Star Fucking Hipsters. I like it though, it’s the most unique sound that is on this EP and it fits the band well and it’s the standout track on here for me.

On Only the Bastards it sounds much more influenced by early Flogging Molly. It’s an upptempo song that is easy to get energized by. On Cry Rosie the tempo is taken down quite a bit. It’s a pretty nice song where the folk-influences in the music are taken back a bit and the lyrics are doing more of the lifting.

Operation Neptune is a marching drum driven track that kind of feels like it’s been done before by most Irish/Scottish-folk punk bands. It’s well executed but doesn’t really offer anything exciting to the mix. Closer Sc├íthach is more flute-driven with some heavier guitars on top. A bit more mid-tempo, relatively speaking, with lyrics about the Irish mythology warrior women and martial arts teacher Sc├íthach.

Lyrically it’s throughout pretty much what you would expect from bands in this genre. Boozing, slave-trade, mythology, legends and reminiscing lyrics of good times not so long gone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s well written and well played songs from a band that knows their genre. Does it add anything new or exciting to the table? Not really, but that is seldom the case with folk music is it. The dual male and female vocalists adds some nice dynamics and variation to the EP, and so does the variation in tempo between the songs. A nice EP to have a listen to if you, like me, enjoy the genre.