San Francisco garage-rock duo Two Gallants had a great year, releasing a new album ("The Bloom and the Blight"), touring Europe and playing the Outside Lands Festival in their hometown.
The band plays a show Saturday at The Partisan in Merced with opening acts Future Twins from San Francisco and the French Cassettes from Ripon.
"We try to play as honestly and wildly as possible," said Tyson Vogel, who sings and plays drums. "We're just two guys fromSan Francisco. We try to keep it honest."
Vogel and Adam Stephens (guitar, harmonica, vocals) founded Two Gallants in 2002 when both were in their early 20s. They took the band name from a story in James Joyce's "The Dubliners."
"We were playing our first show and we needed a name and we were thinking about it for a while," Vogel said. "We were reading the short story at the same time and we were joking that the characters their relationship was representative of ours. In certain ways, the characters were shades of us."
They toured constantly, performing in parks, basements and bars. They didn't set out to play folk and blues music but that's what they were labeled because they were quieter than the other bands around.
Their new album "The Bloom and the Blight" their first since 2007 has a harder, more aggressive sound.
"The songs are very different because we are a little bit different," Vogel said. "We grew a lot in that time musically."
Stephens went through a traumatic experience when he was in a serious van accident in 2010. During his recovery, there was a time when he couldn't play any music at all.
"Going through something like that is a very intense experience," Vogel said. "When you're exposed to frailty, that thin vellum life takes and so easily and quickly can be taken away you inherently get a different perspective."
WHAT: Two Gallants with Future Twin and the French Cassettes
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The Partisan, 432 W. Main St., Merced
CALL: (209) 723-0599