The Two Gallants – The Bloom and The Blight [album review]

by Woody on September 4, 2012

It’s been eight years since San Francisco’s The Two Gallants released The Throes, a good album that blended their fondness for all things Dylan with the ragtag nature of a garage rock band. Since then they put out a couple of solid releases on Saddle Creek, the last being four years ago. They were solid and a good listen but nothing to make a lasting impression on me. So when we got their new release I was rather hum-drum about it.

In the four years that the childhood friends were recharging their batteries, Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel have altered their sound in a way that makes you stand up and take immediate notice and realize that you are listening to a special album; easily their best effort.

The boys seemed to have spend a bit of time spinning some Elliot BROOD and Japandroids while on break. Adam Stephens’ vocals are blistering and the opening three tunes come out you like a freight train. Halcyon Days opens with a squeal of feedback and the noodling of a guitar more consistent of Black Mountain and then Vogel introduces himself to the fracas and they tear through the song. If Oz and I were cartoon characters and also sitting on a couch, we would like this.

Next up is Song of Songs and that starts like a country ditty giving the impression that the heaviness of Halcyon Days is an aberration. Oh no friends, no need to worry here. They launch into a scathing song dealing with love and loss. They flip the switch from mellow to rocking on a moment’s notice and My Love Won’t Wait follows suit as well.

By the time they get to the fourth tune, you’re begging for a breather. And the boys deliver a lazy country tune in Broken Eyes. Many times for me, the arrangement of songs on an album can seal the deal. And whether this was a pleasant accident or meticulous planning, Broken Eyes sounds so lovely after getting run over for 12 minutes during the first three tunes.

This album is a gem. Oz and I have been listening non-stop since we got it and this is easily one of the best surprises of 2012. They are hitting the road and they always brought forth a rocking show. Armed with this new material, they will tear the house down.

Two Gallants – My Love Won’t Wait by ARTISTA

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve McCoy September 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I’ve seen some “meh” reviews, but you are hearing the album the way I’m hearing it. Thanks!

oz September 4, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Hard not to point out some Nirvana and 90’s era grunge influence here. I feel like I’m in 8th grade again. “Winter’s Youth” is the best track – great acoustic leading to furious drums/vocals, then some ethereal harmonies. It’s an incredible three and a half mins.

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