What The Toll Tells - Two Gallants

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Equally suitable for a Wild West saloon or meth lab. [7 Apr 2006, p.63]
  2. In What The Toll Tells we’ve been served up an In The Aeroplane Over The Sea for ’06 – full of misty-eyed dreams and incredible characters.
  3. The fact they're doing this in their early 20s verges on the astonishing. [Mar 2006, p.111]
  4. If the album has flaws, it has great and unique strengths. Difficult, maybe, but captivating.
  5. Not an album for a sunny day, What the Toll Tells can seem gloomy and filled with shadows.
  6. 78
    Appealingly poetic. [#19, p.99]
  7. Mostly, the duo sounds loose and spontaneous while running through epic, theatrical story-songs.
  8. 70
    The raw poetic facade occasionally cracks, but there is something special here. [Mar 2006, p.88]
  9. Their sophomore album is surprisingly world-weary, but brims with an almost brutal rawness and betrays the pair’s striking talent for storytelling.
  10. 70
    Sure, the stories are worn and the whiskey is cut-rate, but the feeling is real. [#71, p.113]
  11. What The Tale Tells employs stock language to present stock characters going through stock conflicts.
  12. 60
    A sincere winner. [Mar 2006, p.123]
  13. 58
    Until they ditch folksy archaisms... maybe it's best for 'em young indie-blues fellers... [to] work on the good ol'-fashioned songwriting. [Mar 2006, p.95]
  14. This album is so ripe with hubristic self regard and musical monotony that most of its worth gets crossed out.
  15. The quixotic charm wears thin as "Some Slender Rest" dips into lugubrious emo-folk, and the remainder of the album's murdered wives, enraged sheriffs, and luckless roustabouts pile up cartoonishly.
  16. Everything sung here is manufactured to conjure up the same bullshit sense of nostalgia that the band's James Joyce-inspired name is supposed to. [#12, p.93]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. BrianD
    May 31, 2006
    Fans of topical, safe and radio-friendly modern rock will probably not stick with this album long enough to relize it's true depth. Not to say that there isn't considerable commercial appeal in this young duo's second successful collection of songs in two tries, but the deeply ingrained roughness of the musical delivery, the gritty vocals and the equally dark subject matter in no way adds up to bubblgun pop indie rock. The bottom line is that these guys can really write, and they deliver their indea with passion unmatched by their indie peers. This is not only an amazing album, it is an important developmental step from a band that will only get bigger as they continue to win over fans. I would consider this album an indie jem that will only grow more amazing as it ages. ....and "Waves of Grain" might be the most moving piece of music I have heard in years. Full Review »
  2. davel
    May 13, 2006
    Great music with an edge and a story to tell.
  3. GervaisR.
    Mar 27, 2006
    Pitchfork is a snark factory of holier-than-thou scenesters who wouldnt get shivers down their spines if Tyson Vogel played Las Cruces Jail on them. Two Gallants rock hard. Unlike the White Stripes or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this power duo writes about historically relevant matters and takes tricky politics head on. This direct, confrontational style irks fans and critics who prefer their music more 'ornamental,' but it's the ony kind of music for me. If you don't agree, see them live and then judge 'em. Full Review »