A few months ago, I wrote about IV and The Strange Band, and their ability to combine a host of disparate sounds to make compelling music. The Goddamn Gallows from Detroit, Michigan are another band that are able to do this with aplomb. In the simplest sense, the Goddamn Gallows are a folk punk band, but they take their sound well beyond those confines by adding bluegrass and metal, all with a sort of rollicking mania. They have released seven albums since their formation in 2004, with their style gradually evolving from the rockabilly (self-described as gutterbilly) of their earlier albums to the darker and doomier sounds of their newest records. All of these sounds have been tested and perfected on the road with a relentless touring schedule (I was lucky enough to see them open for Weedeater in Baltimore in 2020).
The Goddamn Gallows has taken to ending their live shows with a searing cover of Venom’s “In League with Satan” (Venom is a legendary English metal band that helped coin the term black metal). For the cover, their drummer (who goes by Baby Genius and looks a little like a cross between Steve Buscemi and an emaciated Post Malone) gets up from behind the drum kit to provide vocals for the song. Rather than sing, Baby Genius has a piercing shriek that makes the song seem far more hostile and menacing than the original. If Satan were real, I think he would be proud.
Support the Goddamn Gallows as they scour the USA on their tour this April through July!