Two Gallants has one of those sounds that will always remind me of someone, a time and a place.
Past the guitar riffs of the first track of the band’s new album “The Bloom and the Blight,” came the familiar raspy voice of lead singer Adam Stephens, taking me back.
Stephens, along with bandmate Tyson Vogel, released their fourth album together Tuesday, following up their 2007 self-titled release “Two Gallants.”
I struggled to get into the first track of the new album “Halcyon Days,” which ran rampant with an inconsistent beat and an overload of guitars and cymbals. My ears were craving the Two Gallants sound of their single “Steady Rollin’,” off the band’s second album, which perfectly paired Stephens’ raspy voice with a more tame instrumental.
The second track turned things around. “Song of Songs” showed off what Two Gallants does best. Starting out slow and escalating into a more exciting and memorable tune, this is one of the album’s finest. The lyrics, such as, “When I reach the other side / I’m gonna tell them how she treated me kind / Oh the worlds I have seen / And she’s alright with me,” are beautiful, too.
Continuing on a high note comes “My Love Won’t Wait,” a story of a restless lover, and “Broken Eyes,” a song with an old-country, dirt-road feeling with a touch of harmonica. “Broken Eyes” shines with its touching lyrics, such as, “Hey there girl with the broken eyes, ain’t my love been true / Ain’t no need to act surprised when it comes back to you.”
“Ride Away” rode in with a “House of the Rising Sun” feel, but left only an average impression. “Decay” slowed things down, much to my liking, and “Winter’s Youth,” with a perfect blend of a slow, sweet beginning and a punchy transgression, followed as another of the top songs on the album.
Rounding out the rest of the album, “Willie” is the one song you really must listen to, as it is definitely the album’s best. The short track’s lyrics roll right off the tongue like a drinking song, with lyrics such as, “If I did you wrong won’t you let me know / And if I did you good then have a drink on me.” Following that, “Cradle Pyre” is another high point for the album that I wish replaced “Halcyon Days” as the initial track.
“Sunday Souvenirs,” the song Two Gallants leaves for last, is another stellar track which left me thinking of love and memories long lost, one of the things the band’s music does best.