Ladies & Gentlemen, I present to you my front runner for the best album of 2012 until proven otherwise, Two Gallants' The Bloom and The Blight. A fantastic record that features 10 explosive tracks, it'll make your head spin and your spine tingle with excitement and fervor. Loud, raw, no holds barred rock n' roll is the best way to describe the 4th album from the folk-punk duo out of San Francisco consisting of childhood friends guitarist and vocalist Adam Stephens and drummer Tyson Vogel. It's the band's first record off of their new label ATO Records as well and their first release in 5 years.
Produced by John Congleton who has also worked with The Walkmen, Modest Mouse, David Byrne, The Roots, Murder By Death and William Elliott Whitmore as well as his own band, The Paper Chase, The Bloom and The Blight has a distinctive rugged, grizzled feel to it while at the same time smooth and soulful with Stephens' magnificent voice. Another great example of the loudquietloud style influenced by The Pixies, nearly every track has a slow build up to the chorus and then catches you refreshingly off-guard with raucous riffs and badass harmonies that will makes your jaw drop. I'd be very surprised if another album comes out this year, this decade or even this century matching the flatout sheer amplification that the new masterpiece from Two Gallants produces right when you press play.
- Rob Duguay
It's that time again when I pick a select few tracks to highlight the album, so here it is: "My Love Won't Wait" is the lead single off of the new album, starting off the with cryptic lyrics "You can try, but ain't no use, i'll lose it if you cut me loose". A great track about unrequited love but still refusing to let go, exuding epic amounts of fury with each note. "Ride Away" has become an addictive favorite of mine, a dark, dreary track about being on the run after witnessing your brother being executed with thunderous riffs and somber melodies. "Halcyon Days" is all about drowning in your own self-pity because you love someone so hard that it makes you miserable, showcasing the amazing drumming skills that Vogel possesses. "Cradle Pyre" is groovy and powerful, with Stephens asking the question of "Where will you run when the world is on fire?". "Willie" is about what every small village or town should have, a drunk that causes hell and makes people wonder if they were responsible for his downfall. Since these are only a few of the many songs I absolutely love off of The Bloom and The Blight, don't just sit there and take my word for it. Get up off your sorry ass, grab a copy of the album and listen for your own enjoyment.
Two Gallants will be embarking on a tour of The United States, Canada and Europe on August 22nd at El Cid in Los Angeles and ending the expedition on December 11th at The Nouveau Casino in Paris. For us live music fanastics in New England, Two Gallants will be rocking the stage at Brighton Music Hall in Boston on September 27th, a show that you defintely shouldn't miss. Despite this review by yours truly, The Bloom and The Blight won't be hitting record store shelves and (legal) internet music download websites until September 4th, so you'll have to be a little patient. When that fateful date arises, do yourself a favor and grab the new album from Two Gallants. It's a beautiful piece of music that will make you a lifelong fan within seconds of listening.
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