Hell’s Gazelles – Take Your Medicine: EP Review
Words: Anne Estella
Hell’s Gazelles are the young hard rock outfit from Oxford that I first encountered earlier this year when I saw them live at Rebellion, Manchester. At that time I wasn’t familiar with any of their songs, but their electrifying performance simply blew me away. Frontman Cole Bryant’s vocal acrobatics were phenomenal and his kickass showmanship put a big smile on my face within moments of him arriving on (and then leaping off) the stage.
The song that had the biggest impact on me that night was Dr. Strangechild, from the band’s 2016 self-titled debut EP. Well fortunately Dr. Strangechild has been resurrected for Take Your Medicine - the brand new 5-track sophomore EP, which drops on 27th July - where the maniacal character is depicted presiding over an insane asylum on the cover artwork, courtesy of the wizards at Very Metal Art.
The first thing to note about this record is how big and polished it sounds. Opener Give Me Something actually gives you everything you could want from a great rock anthem; a fierce driving melody, powerhouse rhythm section, high voltage vocals and killer riffage. The unwavering lyrics convey feelings of dissatisfaction, frustration and disillusionment with modern day life, people and politics and they don’t hold back, making this an unashamedly assertive, dynamic introduction to the record.
Second song Stone Cold thunders along at a steady, unrelenting pace, showing off Bryant’s soaring vocals as the track unfolds, whilst telling us how to offload the toxic people in our lives that we could really do without. Out Of Time is as dark and heavy sonically as the subject matter it deals with – faithlessness, hopelessness and depression. Nath Digman’s filthy riffs really hit the spot, as do Bryant’s vocals when they reach those nose-bleedingly high notes.
The title track, Take Your Medicine, is the shortest but arguably most hard-hitting song on the EP. It starts off with intense, sharp drumbeats and its lyrics deal with the weighty subjects of mental health, instability and self-medication. Bryant’s strong vocals lend themselves perfectly to the track’s solid, classic rock sound and the backing vocals in the chorus add a raw, punk-fuelled edge to the track.
She Devil rounds off the EP with a rebellious, old-school vibe, that’s lyrically lighter than the other tracks and is all about discovering that the woman you thought was an angel is actually the devil in disguise, but you still want her all the same... maybe even more.
Every track on this record has earned it’s right to be there. Britain’s rock scene has been going through a tremendous growth spurt of late and Hell’s Gazelles, who formed in 2015, deserve to be among the frontrunners within the ‘New Wave Of Classic Rock’ sphere, having matured so quickly since their inception, developing into the well-oiled rock n’ roll machine that they are today.
Cole Bryant -Vocals
Nath Digman - Guitar
Rik Ridemark - Bass
Luke Evans - Drums
Give Me Something
Out Of Time
Take Your Medicine