Born from the ashes of The Afghan Whigs, Greg Dulli and his musical vehicle The Twilight Singers have been making a racket since 1997. The band have recently released their fifth long player Dynamite Steps, and this being my first experience with their sound, I found it to be quite the heady trip into their dark, brooding world.
Dynamite Steps is first and foremost a rock record that is punctuated with sweeping, textured arrangements involving swirling keys, rasping vocals and a decadently moody atmosphere. The album starts off strong with opener “Last Night In Town” an electro-tinged epic to lose yourself in as Dulli croons amidst a sea of droning synth and muddy guitars ‘I’ve come to take you under’.
“Be Invited” is a wonderfully dramatic slow burner with haunting vocal harmonies and a marching beat that is strangely intoxicating. Early highlight “Waves” is hedonistic rock at its best with a driving, hypnotic rhythm, raucous guitars and a furious energy and outpouring of teeth gnashing rage.
The quiet moments are equally as beguiling. Tracks such as “Get Lucky” and “Gunshots” show Dulli’s softer side and are delivered with an anthemic, lighter in the air kind of quality that is accentuated by the pounding drums and soaring melodies.
The raw emotion of Dynamite Steps begins to fade mid record, where the rockier tracks give way to one sad song after another, which are moving at first but become quite monotonous listening with time and as such the album ends on an underwhelming note. There is enough substance here to appease both old and new fans alike but the electric first half of the record is overshadowed by its quick descent into oblivion and this prevents the music from being anything more than a mildly interesting moment in time.
Review Score: 6/10