Gangs (album)

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Gangs
Two connected white rectangles and a triangle illuminate against a black background. Centred white text below reads "Gangs".
Studio album by And So I Watch You From Afar
Released 29 April 2011 (2011-04-29)
Recorded 2010 (2010)–2011 (2011) at Start Together Studio in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Genre Post-rock, math rock
Length 44:44
Label Richter Collective
Producer And So I Watch You From Afar, Rocky O'Reilly
And So I Watch You From Afar chronology
And So I Watch You From Afar
(2009)
Gangs
(2011)
All Hail Bright Futures
(2013)
Singles from Gangs
  1. "Search:Party:Animal"
    Released: 28 February 2011 (2011-02-28)
  2. "BEAUTIFULUNIVERSE–
    MASTERCHAMPION"

    Released: 25 November 2011 (2011-11-25)

Gangs is the second studio album by the Northern Irish post-rock band And So I Watch You From Afar, released on 29 April 2011 on Richter Collective.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 68/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Austin Chronicle 2/5 stars[3]
BBC Music Favourable[4]
Drowned in Sound 9/10[5]
Entertainment.ie 4/5 stars[6]
Kerrang! 3/5 stars[7]
Q 3/5 stars[8]
PopMatters 7/10[9]
Rock Sound 9/10[10]

Gangs was released to positive critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 68, based on 9 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[1] Allmusic reviewer Dave Donnelly referred to the album's sound as "weightier and more abrasive than its predecessor" but criticised that it was "tailored for the stage" which "sacrificed some of the beautiful flow and elegant dynamic." He awarded the album three and a half out of five stars.[2] Writing for the Austin Chronicle, Adam Schragin said that Gangs "spins an enormously wrought piece of work that finally matches the band's inflated aspirations with production values" but called the songs "oddly unmemorable" in his two out of five star review.[3] BBC Music writer Brad Barrett praised the album, summarising it as "an album strewn with the debris of a war march, albeit one laced with smirks and triumphant songs" and noted how it "starts to feel textural as opposed to bludgeoning."[4] Simon Jay Catling of Drowned in Sound rated the album nine out of ten and described its music as "maelstrom of dexterity [that] gives way to great waves of squalled sound."[5]

In her four-star review for Entertainment.ie of Gangs, Jenny Mulligan said "its eight tracks come together harmoniously, frequently self-referencing with repeated patterns and sequences, and moving with ease from the band's characteristic ferocious vigour."[6] Kerrang! awarded the album three out of five stars and wrote "while this is as trying and testing as it is unique, it's certainly not without its charms",[7] and Q called Gangs "monstrously heavy [and] full of tense, nervous energy", awarding the album three stars.[8] Writing for PopMatters, Brice Ezell said "particularly distinctive are the guitar lines that, while never at the level of Steve Vai-like shred, are quite tricky and at times groovy" and praised the album's mixture of post-rock and math rock style, in his seven out of ten review.[9] Rock Sound writer Pete Withers rated Gangs nine out of ten and said sSeamlessly flowing from repetitive, hypnotic guitar patterns to delectable swathes of effortless grace, the record builds and burns, stacking surprise upon surprise before breaking it all back down to delicately strummed moments of reflective reprieve."[10]

Gangs was nominated for the Choice Music Prize in January 2012,[11] though lost out to Oceans of Frequency by Jape.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by And So I Watch You From Afar

No. Title Length
1. "BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPION"   5:52
2. "Gang (starting never stopping)"   5:26
3. "Search:Party:Animal"   5:18
4. "7 Billion People All Alive at Once"   5:44
5. "Think:Breathe:Destroy"   4:43
6. "Homes – Ghost Parlor KA -6 To..."   2:46
7. "Homes – ...Samara to Belfast"   9:50
8. "Lifeproof"   5:05
Total length:
44:44

Personnel[edit]

All personnel credits adapted from the Gangs' online release notes.[13]

And So I Watch You From Afar
Technical personnel

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Irish Albums Chart[14] 28
Irish Independent Albums Chart[15] 10
UK Indie Chart[16] 35

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Gangs Reviews, Ratings, Credits and More". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Donnelly, Dave. "Gangs – And So I Watch You From Afar". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Schragin, Adam (16 March 2012). "SXSW Music – Review: And So I Watch You From Afar". Austin Chronicle. Austin Chronicle Corporation. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Barrett, Brad (3 May 2011). "Review of And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs". BBC Music. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Catling, Simon Jay (28 April 2011). "And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs / Releases". Drowned in Sound. Silentway. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Mulligan, Jenny (29 April 2011). "Music Review | And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs". Entertainment.ie. Irish Times Trust. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Reviews: Gangs – And So I Watch You From Afair". Kerrang! (Bauer Media Group) (4 June 2011): 51. 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Reviews: And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs". Q (Bauer Media Group) (July 2011): 120. 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Ezell, Brice (5 January 2012). "And So I Watch You From Afar: Gangs". PopMatters. PopMatters Media. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Withers, Pete (16 May 2011). "And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs | Reviews". Rock Sound. Freeway Press. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Meteor Choice Shortlist Announced". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Byrne, Niall (9 March 2012). "Jape wins Choice Music Prize". State. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Gangs | And So I Watch You From Afar". Bandcamp. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 5 May 2011". Chart-Track. GfK. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Top 10 Independent Artist Album, Week Ending 5 May 2011". Chart-Track. GfK. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "2011-05-14 Top 40 Independent Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 8 January 2013.