Two years ago I stumbled upon the guys from Two Gallants. Adam Stephens und Tyson Vogel took their bands name from a short story from James Joyce. Their music to me is defined by rusty guitar sound, often finger picked but amplified, mixed with a punk style drumming and topped with exaggerated, storytelling lyrics. At live concerts, they have an enormous aura, that swallows and immerses you. Most of their songs, lean on a tradition of american folk music and deal with bitterness, love stories, injustice and collapsed or broken societies (mostly relating to the U.S.) on a high metaphoric level. The best example is the “dylanesque” song “Waves of grain”, that still is debated on, whether it is an anti-Bush, an anti-religious song or what the metaphors can mean overall. Take time and listen to it.
But back to state of art. Next week they release their new album “We are undone” and they shard the equally named song. On a short notice, I like it, the riff and the high energy guitar and vocals But I hope there are some more unconventional, folky song structure to find on the album. Because it is the mixture of distorted guitar picking, coarsely sung folky lyrics and highly dynamic drum playing, that makes Two Gallants most special for me.
19 years back the sweet Swedes “At the Gates” made their last album –yes there was some band splitting and stagnation– and now they are back with a waltzing melodic death metal album, that lets the hearts of every fan and critic bounce faster. Their last album “Slaughter of the Soul” was most influential for Swedish melodic death metal and this one connects right to it. Stripped, fast melodic riffs, pressuring drumming together with rusty screams make up this record. Sprinkled with some interluding pieces, like the opening speech “El Altar del Dios Desconocido” (“The Altar of the Unknown God”) citing the Argentine lyricist Ernesto Sabato. But otherwise the songs are straight but still capturing. The album was a success in the charts and I have to say it is pretty damn good old school melodic death metal.
Larry and His Flask are a band, which can be described by various music styles, such as folk, bluegrass, soul, brass band, punk, surf-rock with nuances of brass etc. Some call them simple a folk-punk band and yes, they put on a high energetic, hell of a performance. But they also impress with harmonic vocals, fast-paced guitar riffs, bass-lines and brass parts. They have toured the world with big names like Wanda Jackson, The Dropkick Murphys, Lucero and many more. Check out their awesome 6 song EP “Hobos Lament” and their full-length album “By The Lamplight”, which both guarantee to get your limbs shaking, and it’s all about shaking, on stage and off stage, so fun time music for everybody!
These Arms Are Snakes was band, with some songs that blew my head. They came together as members from former bands such as Botch or Kill Sadie and split up into new bands like Russian Circles or Minus the Bear.
What fascinated me now and then is their rhythmical work as well as their songwriting, not in vertical way, concerning harmony, more the connection of parts, riffs and rhythms. I don’t want to play down their ability of stacking rhythms or melodies over each other. For me it was more their riffs and especially their rhythmical work, that fascinated me.
So here we go, a classic song from their debut album “Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home”.