The Gala’s new record “Bad News” is a rush of punk rock freshness. The cover sports a cartoon vomiting a sea of hearts in a brown waterfall of sludge. The scene serves as a perfect doorway into Emily Doran shouting, “I’m fragile, I’m fragile, don’t pretend you didn’t know.” The songs deal with emotional subject matter but through the lens of a beer soaked till-the-morning rager. The album seems to serve as an exorcism of past troubles, and from the speed and sound the band is having a blast dispelling demons.
No frills guitar, bass, and drums are on lock down with every turn. Psychedelic organ adds the perfect flavor to open the sound for a fearless vocalist to drive the ship home to Valhalla. There is plenty of melody and in my opinion you wouldn’t say The Gala is purely a punk band. The way the vocals ebb and flow within the spectrum of singing and punk nasty is truly unique to The Gala and worth a full listen.
Bad News by The Gala (US)
I love the track “Boy” when the band brings it down to drums, bass, & vocals for crawling lament in the verses. At the half mark Emily calls out like a sparrow turning predator, “but it’s you that makes me shine.” A juicy pentatonic guitar riff answers and if goosebumps don’t crawl up your body then please check your pulse or hearing.
“Xx” is another favorite. The groove is in a tight frenzy as Emily expresses “Xx!” repeatedly throughout. You feel something different each time the line comes based solely on how she delivers it. Truly a magnificent two minute track that should be a hit, or at least blaring through your stereo scaring the straighties everywhere.
The Gala is comprised of Emily Doran, Chris Kenneally, Rebecca Frank, Justin Perilli, and Dave Pietroforte. These are cats living in your town and have the power to scare people with their music. And that is a good thing.
Cover Illustration: Darren Merinuk