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The Bloom and the Blight

Two Gallants

The Bloom and the Blight

Released: September, 4th 2012

Adam Stephens’ stellar guitar playing takes it up a notch on The Bloom and the Blight, not only with deft fretwork and memorable riffs but with an emphasis on distortion and volume. Some tracks—“Song of Songs,” “My Love Won’t Wait”—pack a wallop with white-hot blazing guitars and Stephens’ vocals corrosive enough to skin a cat; bands like The White Stripes come to mind. This is a far cry from the duo’s folkier roots, though several acoustic numbers with harmonica, piano, and other accents (“Broken Eyes,” “Decay,” “Sunday Souvenirs”) embrace Two Gallants' bleary, sunrise-ruminating aesthetic. In those moments, Stephens’ voice retains its vulnerable warble, but elsewhere he’s shooting for the sort of bloodletting in song that Jack White aims for. (If Stephens doesn’t ravage his vocal cords, we’re all for it.) For those on the fence with this stylistic shift, try tracks that meet in the middle; songs like “Winter’s Youth” meld glistening acoustic guitar and angelic choruses with surges of head-splitting drums and guitar hammering, while “Willie” has the woozy, boozy stink of an alt-country barroom at 2 a.m. It's a terrific, sing-along closer.

  1. Halcyon Days - 4:32
  2. Song of Songs - 2:43
  3. My Love Won't Wait - 3:45
  4. Broken Eyes - 2:46
  5. Ride Away - 3:43
  6. Decay - 3:23
  7. Winter's Youth - 3:34
  8. Willie - 2:15
  9. Cradle Pyre - 3:12
  10. Sunday Souvenirs - 3:30
  11. Dyin' Crapshooter's Blues (Bonus Track) - 4:05

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