Two Gallants – What The Toll Tells

Since the success of The White Stripes, two people bands with guitar and drums seem to be a new genre with quite a number of great bands: The Black Keys, The Evens and now Two Gallants.

What the Toll Tells

Of course all of these bands don’t really make the same kind of music, although, except for The Evens, you can identify a set of common blues roots in the rest of my (surely incomplete) list. Also, The White Stripes are quite different from everyone else, as primitive (poor?) drumming is part of their trademark sound, whereas in the other duos the drummers take much more advantage of the available space.

I’ve pretty much given it away already: I really think the Two Gallants are great. I’ve been listening to the album pretty much on repeat over the last 3 weeks and I haven’t grown tired of it. On top of the already mentioned blues touch they add quite a bit of folk, which makes them sound a little bit like early Bob Dylan at times (Prodigal Son, also helped by the harmonica), but not too much to get on my nerves (as early Bob Dylan would). Long Summer Day is probably the best traditional negroe song, written in this century. And if you fear that it could get too boring, you get some cello on two songs and even trumpet and trombone on 16th St Dozens, which has a quite surprising ska ending.

For me they are a candidate for the Best of ’06 list.