'What The Toll Tells'
Two Gallants are two Americans signed to Bright Eyes' label, one who throws himself spiritedly over his drums, the other who sings himself hoarse and plays golden electric guitar. They do not slump into their sophomore album Ã¢Â€Â“ no, they crash through it, banging and booming, yelling and yearning. This is not the country blues of Uncle John and Whitelock, Glasgow-grim; no, these lads are from San Francisco, where they wear flowers in their hair. Amid the angst there are moments of elegy, room to breathe. While 'Las Cruces Jail' is a White Stripes-style tale of crime and recidivism, the jawdropping 'Waves of Grain' is a more ambivalent thing, a nine-minute build of weary sadness, rising desperation, keening harmonica. It's either the sound of remembering Ã¢Â€Â“ or of the opposite. [Sean Michaels]