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coverpic flag US - Louisiana - Full Moon 140 - 02/21/08

The Gutter Twins
Sub Pop / Tuba!

Gutter gents and possibly twin souls from the early days (daze...) of grunge Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan present their first full length as The Gutter Twins. Nicked 'the Satanic Everly Brothers' (by Dulli himself) we're up to some neat doses of pure evil pop.

Lanegan joined vocal forces with Dulli on his Twilight Singers project as well, but this time it seems Lanegan is in not only as a part time singer. The twosome has produced Saturnalia, along with the unofficial third member Mathias Schneeberger (also a Twilight Singers player). I was quite curious about checking out this album. I've heard Lanegan's voice with Queens of The Stone Age as well as the exciting project with Isobel Campbell (of Belle & Sebastian). Dulli's work for the last years has passed me, and it's been a while since I've played the old Afghan Whigs records. I did play the Whigs a lot back in their heyday (the Afghan Whigs and the Screaming Trees did sort of reach the same level of fame and fortune - 'big', but not 'BIG'), I guess Congregation and Gentlemen will still rank high when put on.

When putting on Saturnalia I immediately recall Afghan Whigs. Of course. No surprise, since Dulli's in charge. From the opening "The Stations" the song writing of Dulli is present. The Gutter Twins play melodic rock, and it's working very well. The Lanegan sung "All Misery/Flowers" is great, and so "Idle Hands" is an Iggy Poppy song, maybe a bit too much on the straight rock side. And, maybe one of the weaker of the 12 tracks. Greg Dulli doesn't fear (never has feared) writing songs which at first sounds a bit overblown, overdone. His songs are often ruggedly and velvety at the same time. He's not afraid to walk the fine line between mildly ambitious and deeply pretentious.

This record is mostly a pleasant listen. Elegant is a word that springs to mind. It's not mindblowing stuff, but a solid piece of work by two crooners of the dark night. You'd better spend some time in the gutter of Saturnalia.

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