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2/6 Album Review: Two Gallants
Two Gallants are a California based rock duo, notorious for their harsh and unforgiving lyrics, hard-hitting riffs, and mystically haunting vocals. This year they have emerged from the ashes and rose like a reborn phoenix to bless the world with yet another masterpiece in their impressive catalog entitled We Are Undone. The indie rock duo has formed one of their most gut-wrenching and depressive albums since their heyday but have by no means sacrificed emotion or their well-known grungy rock sound that they have become known and loved for.
We Are Undone screams classic Two Gallants, which if you are familiar with their notable past works, all combine melancholy tones with abrasive and rocking guitar/perfectly timed and orchestrated percussion. However, this new album sets a new direction with a fresh sound, mainly stemming from some piano-laden tracks. While still entailing sounds of their past, We are Undone opens the door to an easy but new Two Gallants listening experience. The title track/lead single starts the album off running, with an addictive guitar riff that sets the stage for the rest of the album's atmospheric guitar work. As vocalist Adam Stephens' shaky but powerful voice enters, he brings you into his vividly deranged world of love and heartbreak. Fluid transitions make for an entire album that just flows together with ease, especially from "Incidental" to "Fools Like Us." This is true even more so when they drop their guitars for the soft-spoken piano ballad, "Invitation to a Funeral", which is just as stark and emotionally depleting as the song title entails. Entering the middle of the album the sound resonance gives the listener a direct vibe that this section was made in an abandoned church or cemetery morgue. This is just another bruising reminder of how melancholy their music is. "Some Trouble" and "My Man Go" resonate highly with an older time in folk-rock when suppressive vocals, minimal guitar and inventive percussion came forward to express true emotion. The stark loss of heaviness to the album is apparent by the time the listener reaches the middle, but "Murder the Season / The Age Nocturne" bring it back again to remind us of where this duo came from and of their true potential. The album closes with a song that sounds like an afterthought, a retrospective look back on the album just versed, with a defeated man on the end of his ropes. Pianos return once more to resonate these feelings throughout the final parts of the song "There's So Much I Don't Know."
Twenty two years after their pairing of musical talents, these two are still delivering their scathing and hard-hitting albums with haunting and harsh lyrics. Two Gallants are certainly alive and well, as told through We Are Undone.
Rec Tracks: We Are Undone, Incidental, Fools Like Us, Invitation to a a Funeral, There's Just So Much I Don't Know
RIYL: White Stripes, Deer Tick, Black Keys, Lucero, Neutral Milk Hotel, Led Zeppelin