Two Gallants

Two Gallants' second album What the Toll Tells opens with a robust and bluesy foot-stomper a la Jack White's most infectious work called "Las Cruces Jail." While this two-piece band out of San Francisco share some of the Stripes' spare, lo-fi sound, they consistently get right what the Stripes like to get wrong. For one, Tyson Vogel's drums are not just clunky groundwork (like Meg's) that singer Adam Stephens' guitars and lyrics are built upon, but are, in fact, a crucial and emotive element of orchestrations that often drift past eight minutes. These epic-length numbers work so well because of Stephens' sometimes whispered, occasionally spoken and often howled narrative passages that, in their folk-tinged Americana, bear the holy stamp of Saint Dylan and actually originate ideas rather than regurgitate other musicians' like a certain Detroiter we all know.
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Cole Haddon