The Gullwings- EP Review


Comprised of Oliver Podmore on vocals, James Lennon on guitars, Thomas Castle on bass and Jake Perry on drums, The Gullwings are an alternative rock band from Stockport. As a front man, Podmore has one of those intangible, mesmerizing voices which completely consumes the music, a sort of hypnotic, baritone Luke Pritchard from The Kooks, whilst conveying an effortless cool without any clichéd Northern swagger. With their poetic lyrics, resonating tones and 70’s infused ,razor sharp riffs and  versatile drums,The Gullwings are an emotionally driven band but without the black eye-liner or mosh pit. In fact, with The Gullwings there is no pretentions or contrived showmanship, just a band that oozes good-old fashioned talent and collectively illuminates the stage with their powerful and edgy songs. Having been doing gigs locally, The Gullwings have been in the studio and have recently completed their EP, which can downloaded for free via Soundcloud. It’s a highly recommended EP, which incites and compels from start to finish.

With its chunky and reverberating riffs “Liar For You”, bounces with a light-footed swagger which smoothly coasts against ethereal layers of shimmery riffs. It’s a contemporary rock song, which pulsates its sinewy muscles with ease, whilst charging up through Podmore’s vocals.Through its lyrics “Liar For You”’s angst is awakened, allowing the chorus to sift all the hardcore felt emotions. Lyrics such as “…Well people they come and go, they don’t seem, people don’t want to know …” illustrate the sheer powerhouse of Podmore’s vocals, that soar against the robust, clunky riffs.  Along with the descending bass, it’s through the staggered beats that “Liar For You”’s intensity loosens, detouring the song to a more nonchalant path.

“Illegitimate Child” again shows us the sheer skill of The Gullwings intensity, which nestles in the dark chambers of the song, creating a raw magnetism likened to The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Led Zepplin. It’s a brilliant song, which once again highlights the sheer vocal prowess of Podmore which smoothly interchanges with the electrical currents. It’s through the militant drums and ratatap beats that “Illegitimate Child” rumbles in ruminative waves and sedates any post-punk angst in the process.  It’s a sleek operator whose riffs twist, stumble and crash against Podmore’s alluring and soaring vocals, hallmarking “Illegitimate Child” very much a bona-fide brooder.

“I’m Not Going” immerses itself in murky depths and whose melancholy is filtered through the sombre vocals and Weller-esque riffs. Along with the gentle strumming and rumbling beats, “I’m Not Going”’s sentiments are encapsulated through the emotionally driven lyrics. Lyrics such as “You’ve been talking, my love cos I can’t hear your voices any more”, brings the song to boiling point, amplified through the dual vocals and clatter of curving and bending riffs. It’s a pivotal moment that exorcises the song’s demons, allowing the defences to come tumbling down. It’s a corker of a song which proves The Gullwings’ ingenious skill at evoking emotions through their powerful soundscape.

In particular, with “Turn back Time”, you hear how those reverberating and shimmering riffs resonate against Podmore’s captivating vocals. It’s an entrancing song, etched in emotion and whose dark romanticism is likened to The Cure and Placebo, without the gloomy amalgam of post-punk and new wave.  With Joy Division-esque drums, “Turn back Time” slams and rolls cohesively with the mesh of sounds and resounding vocals. With its echoing lyrics “Turn back Time” moves in slow motion, and bleeds with sorrow with lyrics such as: “As i turn and see the shadows of your sou, no branches of life left to hold”.

With “Truth or Tone”, The Gullwings show us their diversity by delivering with a more hard rock edge. With its distinctive zig-zag bass, pounding drums “Truth or Tone” sounds like a Black Sabbath, Metallica and Smashing Pumpkins cross-breed, which is softened through the preening and bendy riffs. Lyrically minimal, “Truth or Tone”, cuts to the chase, allowing Podmore’s dazed vocals to resonate with the essence of the song. Sounding in parts like a perplexed Alex Turner, Podmore‘s vocals take on a more theatrical veneer, illustrating his skill at conveying the thematic emotions of the song.

With its up-tempo, rolling beat and crunchy, curling riffs “Why are we always too late” tips The Gullwings towards a semi-post-punk route, whilst remaining loyal to alternative rock. With its pulsating chorus and stripped down interludes, “Why are we always too late” races and staggers with built up tension, before loitering around the melancholic lyrics: “this night is warm and this feeling is old, you can’t break my heart cos its made of gold”. Along with their accomplished song-writing skills, The Gullwings are a band whose packaged melancholy is leaked through the cool intensity of their front-man and the moody riffs that brood and meander in with resolute force. It’s also through the skilful drumming that The Gullwings hang on a cusp of post-punk rock and retro 70’s hard rock.

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