Two Gallants - The Boom And The Blight

One of those albums you could listen to again and again.

It’s been five years since Two Gallants last released their last album, and taking a glance at the artwork for ‘The Bloom And The Blight’ it seems they’ve spent their hiatus shrinking into children. The image of the duo as youngsters is a nice little accompaniment to the sounds of the album, evoking a kind of innocence you wish you still had once you get old.

This feeling comes back more than once during ‘The Bloom And The Blight’; ‘Broken Eyes’ early on in the record is a soft, country love song, with earnest harmonicas (yes, harmonicas can be earnest) and an age-old reference to the “girl with the broken eyes”. And then things get serious with the fierce ‘Ride Away’, its dramatic and unrelenting riffs a definite, but not unwelcome change.

Much of the album balances the loud and quiet with deft ability. At little over half an hour long, this is a concise record; even the amount of different instruments has been stripped back compared to previous Two Gallants albums. The duo have evolved their folky alt-Americana and upped the heaviness in parts, making ‘The Bloom And The Blight’ potentially their heaviest album yet. ‘Winters Youth’ fools you in its introduction into thinking it’s another softly-strummed ditty, before erupting into another animal altogether for the chorus. But both sides of the coin are equally good. And the fact that Two Gallants can pull off both is more than worthy of praise.

Whether heavy or soft, the highlight of the album is certainly the lyrical prowess Two Gallants have developed over the years. As the album comes to a close with ‘Sunday Souvenirs’, the piano keys pull at you as Adam Stephens sings of lost love and memories. It builds up as the percussion kicks in and the dual vocals work together to create a warming soundscape.

Because of its brevity, it does of course feel as though ‘The Bloom And The Blight’ is over too soon. But it’s one of those albums you could listen to again and again; and frankly, we should just be happy to have the boys back.

Tags: Two Gallants, Reviews, Album Reviews

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