Self-released October 2014
If a gale is an unstoppable force of nature that wants to smash you into the mud and destroy your world, then this Phoenix, Arizona band could not be better-named. Recorded live (almost in one take only), there is a pleasingly natural-sounding unity and dynamism to Gale’s debut release.
The amplified drums are deranged and animated, the shuddering bass gets geiger counters flickering across the land, and the two guitarists brew up a wild, forbidding storm. Together, they deliver twisted riffs that are both powerful and controlled. All four members contribute vocally, and while the fleeting clean vocals could be stronger, they do add a hint of delicate melody to temper the growling fury.
This young band has concocted five sludgy, YOB-like tracks that rarely sound anything other than original, gutsy and sharp as a madman’s axe. Gale are undoubtedly intense, but they use their extremity wisely, never pushing towards tedium or mindless heaviness. The thoughtfully-composed songs grow and beguile as much as they batter and blast.
Gale’s ‘Vol. 1’ is an intelligent and well-judged debut that reveals an exciting young band full of ideas. If this is the calm before the storm, then 2015 could be one hell of a year.