Two Gallants Return With The Bloom and the Blight
See also: Two Gallants: Bring out Your Dead
Eric Ryan Anderson Two Gallants
Five years is almost an eternity in indie rock circles. You can't go too long with out releasing a record for fear of losing hard-earned fans to fickle blog followers and whatever new micro-subgenre that pops up.
But for Two Gallants, San Franciscans Adam H. Stephens (guitar, vocals) and Tyson Vogel (drums, vocals, guitar), the break between 2007's self-titled third album and the forthcoming The Bloom and the Blight (out Tuesday, September 4 on ATO Records) was necessary.
"We've always done things in an organic fashion," Vogel explains of the decision to take some time off in 2009. "We never even intended to become a band [in the first place, and] when that happened, it was just this natural thing. We didn't anticipate taking such a long break. We thought, let's take a year off, and that became three [years]."
But the time off was good for both members of the band: Stephens explored his singer/songwriter side with a solo record on Saddle Creek Records, and Vogel crafted a record as Devotionals, exploring his fascination with American Primitivism, for Alive Records (Two Gallants previously recorded for both labels).
Charlie Villyard Two Gallants
"[Devotionals gave me] the chance to step out from behind the drum set and expand on my thoughts about music," Vogel says. "I think it definitely influenced the approach of the songwriting we had together on The Bloom and the Blight. I think Adam went through a similar thing with his record. We had a chance to expand in different way."
The Bloom and the Blight shows off that growth. Opening track "Halycon Days" swings with blues-rock swagger, with Stephens howling over a fuzzy riff while Vogel thumps out double bass drum thuds. "Cradle Pyre" sounds like prime grunge, if those flannel-clad musicians had embraced Queen as much as punk rock.