Two Gallants – The Bloom and the Blight
The numerical value held within their name has been a thread throughout Two Gallants’ work. For there has always been a duality about the work of the San Franciscan outfit (a two-piece, of course), and on The Bloom and the Blight, it continues. Their fourth album is a combination of crunching, Zeppelin-worthy riffs and dusty, finger picked Americana, with hard-bitten lyrics, heavy on bygones and mystique.
And while they lack the punch and durability of Canadian behemoths Black Mountain, theirs is the template they mirror most closely. There are moments of lucid beauty (Broken Eyes and closing track Sunday Souvenir stand out) and in opener Halcyon Days and the excellent Winter’s Youth, a couple of balls-to-the-wall rollickers. For the most part, though, Two Gallants’ work has become safe, unsurprising and possessive of only short-term gains, the sum being an album that pleases sporadically but inspires little further reflection.