One of my favorite discoveries of 2020, very early in the year, was Galleons. Just shifting down a list of upcoming releases, I listened to Metropolis single “Elsewhere” and instantly fell for the progressive helping of post-hardcore. Later in the year, I got an interview in with vocalist Tom Byrne hot off the single “Hate the Player, Not the Game”. I’m excited to bring you my thoughts on Galleons’ upcoming third album, Galleons.
Tom had revealed that work on this third album was making great headway soon after Metropolis was released in January of 2020. Where that album had shades of bands like Dance Gavin Dance and Dwellings, Galleons takes on a more mature, focused tone. Comparisons can easily be drawn to Emarosa’s self-titled, as said by Tom, and it’s evident that the “dark, moody atmosphere” is present in the third album’s song structure, delivery, etc.
Indeed, singles “Hate the Player, Not the Game”, “Better the Devil You Know” and “Let’s Pretend” are landmark returns to form for anyone that caught wind of the post-hardcore scene around 2010. Capitalizing on addictive choruses, mesmerizing vocal runs, and an urge to keep the songs on replay, Galleons picked up steam with all of these sitting at 100k+ listens ahead of album release, in comparison to Metropolis songs not reaching that point after a year and change.
Bringing along some noteworthy guest vocals was brilliantly executed. Phil Bayer is a treat for anyone missing old Time, the Valuator, and the back-and-forth dynamic with Garret Rapp (The Color Morale) meshes two supreme vocal talents. Non-single “Youngblood” adds in Tobias Rische of Novelists mixing some cleans and uncleans in his feature, and Galleons proves as a grab bag of prime singing chops from track 1 to 10.
Thankfully, the vocals don’t completely steal the show. The guitar lines from Max and Eugene working in tandem of a melodious backbeat and consistent explorative riffs makes for a layered listening experience in most songs. There’s ample diversity across each track, and it’s refreshing to hear the band retain a sense of heaviness (both lyrically and by means of uncleans) without relying on breakdowns and other tired genre tropes.
Galleons provides a callback to their roots with song “I Travel East as Fievel Goes West Pt. 3”, a hallmark from aforementioned acts DGD and Emarosa in persisting song anthologies that expand on themes and even create some rewarding lore for long-time listeners. Other non-singles include “Werewolf” exhibiting strong storytelling that Galleons has showed before, “When in Rome” slowing things down with a somber, lovelorn call, and closure with “Casablanca” ringing the album’s end with a particularly chaotic section in the middle being one of the album’s best moments.
I had high hopes for Galleons after Metropolis, and was pleasantly surprised that they were upheld. I can’t describe the joy of seeing a band I discovered relatively early in their career with such high potential getting realized, as Galleons heads towards 100k monthly listeners and signing to a label that signs some of the best underrated artists in Famined Records. Here’s to the constant success of Galleons after a highly-memorable self-titled third record!
A press copy of Galleons was provided courtesy of Famined Records.