This duo either fights for your losses with glory or drowns you in a whiskey-sea of rambling. Of course, it all depends on what life situation you personally bring to their timelessness. Let’s try and give them their own category — we can simply call it Punch & Twang. They punch you in the heart via lyrics and drums, and do it with an authentic glaze of twang, punk, and folk.
Two Gallants plug in and just let it rip here, following a previous acoustic EP (The Scenery of Farewell). But they do it working outside the Black Keys’ or White Stripes’ version of a two-person outfit. In other words, lose the blues and keep it raw. These are songs of lost love, of towns left in the dust, and of souls that are misplaced. “The Hand That Held Me Down” is an achy story of getting ganged-upon without justice as harmonica solos attempt to dry the listener’s tears. If anything resembling the quivery vocals of Bright Eyes (although Gallants have more muscle) scares you, this is not for you. However, if your relationship recently ended and you require hooks with that 1 a.m. beer, Two Gallants could be your champions. This is an album full of lines like “I don’t want to see you fall/I just want to see you fail”. The album’s opener, "The Deader" presents a man who believes he is fading in the eyes of a far off love, confessing “I do believe I’m aging right before your eyes.” If you have the patience to wade through these tales, you’ll find reward in the self-depredation. The shirt-tag reads: “Drink and repeat as necessary…” until her face becomes a blur in your mind.
Brian Hoekstra writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.