Spinning Platters: Two Gallants + Akron/Family + Future Twin reviewFebruary 13, 2013
by JONATHAN PIRRO on FEBRUARY 6, 2013
The formula of reverb-drenched-rock, guitar-drum-vocal, two-man band has proven itself, time and again, to be a successful combination. Acts like the Black Keys and the White Stripes proved that it could be done, and tore their way up the charts while they did so. It is, nevertheless, challenging, blending a careful balance of lo-fi and limited composition with gripping vocals, intricately crafted licks, and thundering percussion, maintaining a smart pop sensibility the entire time. To avoid being pigeonholed, however, as another blues-rock soldier on his quest to the top, it’s important to bend the rules of the genre, throw in some curveballs, and introduce some unique elements to one’s sound, such as the close, soulful cousins that are bluegrass and western folk music. San Francisco duo Two Gallants have done just that, constructing a sonic experience that bears this variety of genres, and yet still stands unique and full of raw passion, which they brought to the Fillmore on Saturday night for their end-of-the-tour hometown show.
Perhaps determined to keep their audience entertained with the most thorough evening of genre-bending possible, Two Gallants offered their opening spot to their local compatriots Future Twin, an act that manages to cram elements of soaring post-rock, 60s psychedelia, jangly folk chords, and more, into an 8-song set that was as marvelous to behold. Singer SINGER offered up her PJ Harvey-esque vocals and deftly-wielded tremolo plucking to the wall of sound that the quartet hurled out to the crowd before them, with bassist BASS and drummer DRUMS trading roles halfway through the set for a sudden switchup of the powerful rhythm section. Each song grew and transformed from a gentle, encouraging beginning to a massive tidal wave of reverberant distortion, falling back down to its opening dirge for a breathtaking release at the end. The quartet was subtle and minor in their movement, but their music rose high to the heavens to fall joyfully into the ears of all who beheld it.