54 N. Orange Ave.
One thing you cannot fault San Francisco’s Two Gallants for is being one-note. Their 2012 release The Bloom and the Blight has the broadest range of stylistic shifts we’ve heard on an album so far this year, skating from metal to folk to classic rock in ways that are referential but not necessarily unoriginal. It’s definitely one of those where there’s something for everyone, with punchy escapist tracks like “Ride Away” but also quiet shut-in moments like “Broken Eyes.” Vocalist Adam Stephens capably transitions between introverted ballads and dramatic metal flares, communicating his romantic, albeit death-obsessed, themes and painting pictures of girls with “graveyard hips” and kissing a mouth with “decaying teeth.” It’s a weighted album in many ways, and did I mention all this sound comes from, as their name suggests, just a two-piece? It’s almost as shocking as the lyrical imagery, considering the heft the pair must bear. – Ashley Belanger
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