Review Summary: Two gallants get progressively more sad
What is this? How in the world did Two Gallants sink this low? To be fair, I've been disappointed like this before. Their self-titled took several listens before I could declare it a grower. That acoustic EP was a real bummer but it got me through some bad times. They've always been sullen cowboys with an abundance of ballads among the blues-punk wreckage. The ballads were fine and even pretty good sometimes. But what the *** is this?
The first three songs are fine I guess. The opener has a cool dirge-y beginning but then devolves into the worst Led Zeppelin riff they never wrote. You get some half-assed fingerpicking in the verse that seems like a weird shift for them. The second song sounds like some b-side from Here, and Nowhere Else era Cloud Nothing's. The third song has an alright melody but I've already forgot how it goes by the time I wrote this.
"Invitation To a Funeral" is the first time the record slows down. Adam Stephens sets down his guitar and plays a stupidly childish piano riff. I'm not sure what they were thinking with this horsecrap. The chorus soars in some terrible major-key before they go back to that two-note riff that my little cousin could come up with. You get one more rock and roll song.. and then it's five... FIVE!... ballads in a row. Any steam this album may have had at the beginning is completely gone by now.
I don't hate ballads (ok I hate ballads) but some serious track list editing could do a lot of help. I don't know about you, but when me and my friends would drunkenly listen to 2g's we just waited for the ballad to end so we could go on air-pick in' and yelling out lyrics to the next song. When you pack the only songs that jam in the first half, the second half becomes a snooze fest no matter what.
The drummer, Tyson Vogel, has such a cool style. He can still carry a lot of weight for Adam's sad bull***. Unfortunately, plenty of his time is spent doing click sounds, cymbal shimmers, rim knocks, lots of straight forward beats, and general mediocrity. For a drummer so beastly, he should be able to let loose much more frequently like he has in the past.
I don't know. I feel so underwhelmed with this record. It doesn't do a thing for me. One of the reasons Two Gallants were so good was their ability to be played in company or in solitude. Listening to this makes me feel embarrassed for myself, others around me, and even the band.