What the Toll Tells

Author: James McQuiston
03/17/2006 | | | Album Review
Who would have thought that Two Gallants could have came up with anything nearly as impressive of their last album, "The Throes". It takes only a few minutes for the first track of "What The Toll Tells", "Las Cruces Jail" to single-handedly capture all of the developments made in rock the last fifty years and incorporate them into a six-minute track. The song ties together The White Stripes and Johnny Cash with the utmost ease, throws in some of the dance-punk of acts like The Rapture, and the band still has enough pure allure to infuse the track with their own sound. "Steady Rollin'" is a track that is immensely couched in the rock of the sixties and sixties; hints of Aerosmith and Cat Stevens come forth as salient to this track.

All of the songs on "What The Toll Tells" are immediately turned into sing-a-longs. After listening to the disc no more than one time, individuals are primed and ready to shout along all of the lyrics on the disc. "What The Toll Tells" takes a turn with "Some Slender Rest", the first foray by Two Gallants into the eight-minute plus track (something which they come back to on the second half of the album). Needless to say, "Some Slender Rest" is not quite as catchy as the other tracks; this is a purposive move by Two Gallants in the creation of a track that is more narrative than anything.

Adam's vocals on the track are all encompassing, moving from a solemn style to something much more boisterous in just a short period of time. The band comes back to the catchy, rockin' style of music during "Long Summer Day". The structure is here, it is visible but it is so far removed from what is normally heard on a disc that individuals may errantly mark this track as structure-free. "16th St Dozens" is another of those tracks that challenge individual thoughts concerning structure, while moving quickly from that opening salvo of noise to something that is as meandering as an ancient stream. Two Gallants come forth with another album that is interesting as all get out, fun, impressive, and all-encompassing in its nine track length. Two Gallants are cut from similar cloth as acts like Vetiver and Devendra Banhart, but Two Gallants do not stop with their influences at 1930; everyone from the turn of the century on has influenced Two Gallants in a meaningful way. 8.5/10.
What the Toll Tells

What the Toll Tells

LP / CD / MP3