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Two Gallants

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Album Review

It would not be strange that the three albums Two Gallants have released so far were a sole (but splendid) recording subsequently split into three different issues. This third and self-titled work surprised again exactly by offering the same, but with the similar high quality. Apparently, the duo from San Francisco did not want to be swept away by new musical waves, lest they forget to make such good music. Once immersed in the "spot the difference" game, you feel that the melancholic lyrics listeners became accustomed to, worthy of authentic poets (e.g., "The Deader"), come off a little less destructive on this disc (not any less profound, but less despairing), with stories that forgo tales of alcoholism, suicide, and murder — that is to say, the overwhelming burden of a devastating existence — to focus on someone else instead of on oneself: an opponent, or another being much more complicated to bear. "The Hand That Held Me Down" and "Miss Meri" are pieces with an evidently female target. Musically, the songs' structure barely changes except for a more instrumental clarity patent in "Reflections of the Marionette" and in the ballads "Trembling of the Rose," "Ribbons 'Round My Tongue," and "Fly Low Carrion Crow," songs where the drums and cymbals escort the voice as if over a recently paved road instead of a cobblestone path. Special mention deserves the song "Despite What You've Been Told," which undoubtedly sticks out over the rest of the album and, easily, over the whole Two Gallants' repertoire. This album's first single transmits, with a more standard structure (verse-chorus-verse) and a faster tempo than usual, an infectious energy without being such a heavy song. The now perfect instrumental combination and clearness, accompany the epic chords and a voice which march together from beginning to end. So continue this way, gentlemen.


Formed: 2002 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Simplicity is key for the lo-fi blend of folk/indie rock from San Francisco duo Two Gallants. Taking their name from a James Joyce short story, Adam Stephens (vocals/guitar/harmonica) and Tyson Vogel (drums/vocals) have been playing together as Two Gallants since 2002, sounding more like a dirty Southern folk act than their Bay Area origins may initially suggest. They released their debut, The Throes, in 2004 on Alive Records and followed up two years later with What the Toll Tells on Saddle Creek....
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Two Gallants, Two Gallants
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