Ireland’s heavy rock scene has always been predominantly dominated by Thin Lizzy. The band broke out to such success that they’ve all but defined the country’s output during the ’70s. That’s not to say that the rest of the country suffered in silence while they rose to prominence. Lesser known entities like Taste broke way for other homegrown heroes, but unless you’ve been hanging in collector’s circles, Cromwell may well have flown outside of your frame of view until now. The record was self-released in 1975 and, while packed with some decent cuts, never really broke out to the kind of larger audience the band deserved.
The bulk of the record is packed with a polished brand of rock that swings with just the touch of twang and a gritty swagger that (rightly so) has earned some comparisons to Flamingo-era Flaming Groovies. They’ve got that same, Stones-indebted sneer, that never blossoms into a stadium-sized sound but still hooks the small club crowds into a feeling of rock n’ roll salvation. Despite finding themselves miles from a ranch of any sort, they’ve got a way of rolling in the wide open skies that seems like they may have had a copy of Let It Bleed on rotation for a fair amount of time during the recording of these songs. The new issue adds three bonus cuts which rise far above cutting room floor outtake quality. Always seems like there can’t be a wealth of rarities left out there, but On The Gallop, while not housing a soaring single, stands as an example of classic album rock.
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