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Anthems by Pure Love

Pure Love is the band formed by Frank Carter, ex-lead singer of Gallows. His departure from the band he played in with his brother came as quite a shock at the time. There were genuine musical differences with Carter wanting to head off somewhere different from the rest of the band. Gallows have carried on much the same with a new singer (Wade MacNeil, formerly of Alexisonfire) by continuing in the same hardcore vein and seemingly have retained their fan base. It was hotly debated after Carter’s departure on exactly what route he would take. Even despite him saying he was going to go for a more basic rock sound, many were still surprised by the first song he released.

Bury My Bones‘ was the first chance to hear Pure Love’s musical offering and it was certainly far removed from Gallow’s. Carter’s voice itself hasn’t really changed, there’s just more focus on signing rather than shouting (although his anger can still be heard bubbling underneath). The guitars in this song sound distinctly like The Darkness, and in fact the whole song carries a similar character. Carter showed he wasn’t afraid to put off fans of his old band. The opening lyric in the song possibly even hints at the reason for him going alone, “I’m so sick of singing about hate, it’s never gonna make a change.”

Anthems opens with ‘She (Makes The Devil Run Through Me)‘ and, fortunately, doesn’t veer so much towards classic rock cheese like ‘Bury My Bones’. It’s still straight forward rock though, there’s nothing new being done here, but Carter’s voice is quite refreshing and his melodic hooks are superb. Without them, at times, the album can nearly lose the listener.

Anthem‘ slows things down a little bit with some blues tinged guitar with honky-tonk piano over the top. It’s clear that this isn’t a song Carter would have got Gallows to play and you start to get the impression that this is what he wanted to do. Something with a bit more room to manoeuvre, a bit more depth in influence and the ability for him to really get some big sing-along tracks on the go (the album title being a bit of a give-away to that).

The album pretty much starts as it means to go on. The tracks all stick to the same formula; rock guitars, impassioned singing from Carter and straight drumbeats. There is occasional wavering towards ballad or back the other way to heavier stuff which helps to keep you interested though. The stand out track is probably ‘Handsomes Devil Club‘ which wouldn’t sound out of place from The Libertines back catalogue.

The album is pretty damned good in the end. It’s aimed at a completely different audience that Gallow’s were, but that isn’t important. Carter isn’t trying to impress them. While this album isn’t a classic, it shows that Carter has got it in him to do something different, and it lays the groundwork for some superb material in the future. I’d wager their second could be absolutely huge.

Release date: 04/02/13

About Joshua Danton Boyd