Twilight Singers, started in 1997, is the side project of The Afghan Whigs leader Greg Dullii. Dynamite Steps is the fifth offering, a return to Sub Pop for Dulli and the first Twilight Singers release for 5 years. It sees him take on full production duties and is a cathartic collection steeped in the dark elements of love, sex, drugs, death and life. Dulli’s voice is touching – broken yet strong, off-key yet pitched and truly poignant. His music is dramatic and full of truth and Dynamite Steps is Dulli’s latest step in a successful path he’s carved for himself.
Greg Dulli is one of those artist who has been able to continue to produce strong music for a large number of years – he isn’t doing anything different on this new album, but the fact that he can employ the same elements he did some 20 years ago and make them feel vitally recent means that the listener takes notice once again. The album is definitely one for fans of the previous work Greg Dulli has been a part of, as it is an encompassing collection of sounds borrowed from this previous work, almost all put together on this album. If you are a fan of The Gutter Twins, you will miss Mark Lanegan’s input as it is really only on a small scale but that said, the album is still dark, it could have been just that bit more sumptuous album with a bit more input from Lanegan. If you have never heard any of Greg Dulli’s previous material, then give this a try, his voice might sound harsh and abrasive at first but once you are submerged in the lyrics and music, it all fits into place and his rough vocals complement the subjects.
Last Night In Town is the opening track to the album; a dramatic, piano led starter which reaches an awkward, brilliant climax. Waves is menacing, brooding and driving, with a strong chorus. Get Lucky is slower in pace and takes a confessional, almost soft turn. Gunshots takes the album on a more soulful turn with a swelling chorus – “gunshots baby, lets cut through the crowd.” She Was Stolen is a ballad, a bruised one at that which is probably the most uplifting of the album. Blackbird And The Fox is a duet with Ani Difranco – whose sweet vocal provides a great echo to the main on a cinematic, busy track. The title track is a grand finisher, the longest on the album and it also feels like the rawest on an album full of truths; a fitting finish. This album is challenging, gallant and interesting and really worth more than one listen.