A Winner from Two Out Rally
Two Out Rally don’t seem to have have anything to do with baseball. Their distinguishing characteristic- other than incredibly catchy tunes – is how smartly they incorporate saxophone into their jangly rock, better than practically another rock band, ever. Clarence Clemons and Dick Parry (the guy responsible for all the braying on Pink Floyd’s Money, if you really must know) may have ruined the sax for millions of listeners, but here, Jean-Luc Mosley makes you want to play it. He takes the role of lead guitar, tersely and tunefully harmonizing with the guitars of frontman Gabriel Zucker and Zane Smith (maybe he’s the baseball connection here? Could this guy be the former Braves, Pirates and Red Sox lefty control pitcher who had his moments back in the late 80s and early 90s?).
The opening track, Cymbal Stands is a catchy nocturne, Zucker’s laid-back vocals set to a warmly starlit janglerock tune with an artful major-on-minor bassline. The Beatles are a major reference point here, Rain being the obvious influence for Not Only What I Want. Don’t Rush It nicks the hook from Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi’s Dead and turns it into an anthem in 6/8 time, rising to a catchy turnaround on the chorus, Mosley’s reverb-toned sax break leading up to a funkier rise as the guitars chop at their chords.
Sandy is an original, not the Springsteen under-the-boardwalk epic, a laid-back, warmly tuneful blend of janglerock and 70s soul with light psychedelic touches. With its catch-as-hell post-Velvets jangle, Black and White and Blue (Now and Then) reminds of the legions of early 80s bands who caught that wave, notably Dumptruck and Animation. Mrs. Demise brings back the swaying psychedelic 70s soul vibe, followed by End of Dawn, which sounds like early 90s Britrockers the Verve but catchier, its offcenter organ accents and simple lead guitar lines echoing out on a psychedelic note.
Afraid of the Cold, with its tricky 7/4 time signature, elegant sax/guitar harmonies and unexpectedly surfy guitar break, is the most ambitious track here. Rock and Roll (an original, not the Lou Reed tune) intersperses spiraling, soulful sax amidst steady, jangling guitar, then picks up doublespeed. The album winds up with Underneath the Stars, another rhythmically tricky tune, Mosley echoing Sonny Rollins’ lines on the Stones’ Waiting on a Friend, with a vivid brisk/chill contrast between verses and choruses. These guys don’t have any gigs coming up at the moment, but you can enjoy the whole thing at their Bandcamp page and grab it as a name-your-price download.