Playing catch up to The Black Keys’s blues-rock? Maybe. But they’re doing it the right way. On this evidence, and with a little more exposure, Two Gallants can ‘do a Black Keys’.
Date: November 2, 2012
Venue: Rescue Rooms
In the 5 years since San Franciscan duo Two Gallants have been away, music has witnessed a Phoenix-like rise of blues-rock in the form of The Black Keys, who have unceremoniously usurped Two Gallants just when, back in 2007, it looked like an even battle.
So while The Black Keys’ trajectory is an upward one, Two Gallants are playing catch up. But they’re game plan is good. New album The Bloom and the Blight has received the plaudits, and it’s not hard to see why.
Winter’s Youth starts with Adam Stephens’ disarmingly caustic vocal pouring soulfully over a baron guitar line, before Tyson Vogel explodes onto his drum kit.
It sets the tone for their raw, wholesome blues which is generously flecked with Americana and harmonica-aided folk. And there’s a fair dose of pathos in their music, too, heard best on the heart-wrenching, My Madonna. “I wish I could care but my liver’s too sore, and if liquor’s a lover, you know I’m a whore”, weeps Stephens, remorsefully.
2007 single Despite What You’ve Been Told is a reminder of their blistering best, while Seems Like Home To Me is the quint-essential all-American porch-lit anthem of feeling lost and lonely.
Theirs is a moody, melancholic sepia-tinged image of America. And it’s beautiful.