Two Gallants

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The Throes (2004), 6/10
What the Toll Tells (2006), 6/10
Two Gallants (2007) , 5.5/10
The Bloom and the Blight (2012), 5/10
We Are Undone (2015), 4.5/10

San Francisco's duo Two Gallants specialized in a neurotic form of folk-rock on The Throes (2004, Alive Records). However, it is a bad sign when the standout song, Nothing to You, is the 100th variation on the melody of Don McLean's American Pie. The bulk of the album are the overlong laments of Crow Jane, The Throes and My Madonna, that have few musical qualities (certainly not the vocals), with lyrics that are tedious beyond redemption, journalistic reportages that manically indulge in (lengthy) stories of retarded people who get into all sorts of trouble. The most tragic, The Train That Stole My Man, actually strikes an emotional note just when we gave up hope that this duo could do that, barring divine intervention. The shorter but punkish Fail Hard To Regain a` la Pogues feels like a breath of fresh air.

What the Toll Tells (2006, Saddle Creek) is a more atmospheric album. It opens with the desperate, pounding cow-punk rant of Las Cruces Jail, and includes the country-rock singalong The Prodigal Son. but again one is treated to monolithic and monotonous whining songs that endlessly repeat the same chords (if any) to tell stories that are as interesting as a bar conversation (Some Slender Rest, Threnody in Minor B, Age Of Assassins, the closest to a rocking song Waves Of Grain, each at least eight minutes long).

Two Gallants (Saddle Creek, 2007) contains Despite What You've Been Told.

The Bloom and the Blight (ATO, 2012) and We Are Undone (ATO, 2015) were mostly subdued and downcast.

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(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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