Two Gallants

Album Title: What the Toll Tells
Release Date: February 21, 2006
Genre: Rock/Country
The Two Gallant's sophomore effort What the Toll Tells further explores their distressed folk sound tinged with gothic rockabilly - a romp through the badlands of the American south with a rusty shotgun and a banged up guitar. The first track "Las cruces jail" is a standout on the album. The song opens with a thread of whistling wind, and then segues into a loud explosion of raucous drums, energetic guitars and manic vocals that speak of an outlaw on death row. The album juxtaposes spacious ballads with heart stomping rock; no doubt an effort at stripped down no nonsense country. The premise is good, but the execution leaves much to be desired. As the album progresses, the songs lose this catchy rough and tumble pitch only barely salvaged by "Waves of Grain" that picks up the earlier angsty sensibility into a moody overwrought gem of a song.
However, Two Gallants do employ interesting devices: vocals are brutally hurled over twangy guitars inserting a sense of desperation into placid melodies; the stories are dark, the humour is pitch black made all the more vicious by Adam Stephens infectious vocals. Sustaining that grittiness would have done the album wonders.

Writer: Frieda Luk

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