THE ROTTEN MILE (ALBUM)
released: 22 Oct 2007
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"Why do I like them? Because they don't sound like anybody else". John Peel
“Gallon Drunk? Cool as fuck.” Nick Cave
Following the rapturous reception of their series of CD reissues earlier in 2007, Gallon Drunk return with their startling new album The Rotten Mile on FRED (label) records.
Recorded at London’s Fortress Studios in April 2007, the band bring the much-lauded power of their legendary live performances to the new album. With the line-up of James Johnston (vocals, organ, guitar, harmonica, piano), Terry Edwards (brass, percussion, piano and organ), Ian White (drums, percussion), and Simon Wring (Electric bass, Double bass), the band have definitively captured their sound of fiery passion and excitement.
From the manic riff and unhinged twist of first single “Grand Union Canal” and primal garage drive of the title track “The Rotten Mile”, to the mesmeric blues grind of “On Ward Ten”, Gallon Drunk showcase their classic deranged swagger as never before. Searing organ and ballistic saxophone smear across the songs of urban desperation and defiance. “Down at the Harbour”, propelled by a menacing Duane Eddy style riff, takes us to London’s notorious Limehouse in 1823, whilst “Give me Back what’s Mine” an absurdist tale of mental collapse on a London tube train, erupts with an overdriven, raunchy, big-band swagger. The penultimate track “All Hands lost at Sea” encapsulates the band’s sense of abandon, with it’s hissing maracas and free-jazz noise.
With a minimum of overdubbing the band summon up a fierce intensity and capture the spontaneity of the live group in full flight. The slow burning, Link Wray styled, “Put the Bolt In The Door” magnificently displays Johnston’s desperate-sounding vocals with Terry Edwards’ impassioned sax also to the fore, whilst “Bad Servant” captures the essence of an out of control nighttime drive through the heart of London, powered by feedback, screaming organ and an unholy James Brown style gospel freak-out, all driven by the sheer energy of Ian White’s powerhouse drumming.
From it’s roaring opening bars, to the final closing chords of Gallon Drunk’s beautiful cover of “The Shadow of your Smile”, this record is the real deal. The songs encompass a timeless, classic Gallon Drunk journey through the euphoria, paranoia, madness, violence and bedraggled after-hours urban decadence of… The Rotten Mile.