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Dynamite Steps

The Twilight Singers
SUB POP

A decade after the breakup of Afghan Whigs, Greg Dulli’s voice is crumbling, but his arrogant, soul-searing venom is still potent. Dulli puts his trademarked, cinematic bad attitude to work; it’s simultaneously a childish whine and an arrogant strut. Guests Ani DiFranco, Joseph Arthur, Petra Haden, Nick McCabe (The Verve) and fellow Gutter Twin Mark Lanegan help him work through his bile and spittle-flecked confessions. The problem is that, at least for the first half the album, Dulli is “that guy” who tells you repetitively about his hatred of old lovers, whom he nonetheless can’t let go. We’ve heard this before, but something happens in “On the Corner”: Dulli relaxes and gets into the groove himself; “Gunshots” offers a confession without major vitriol; and the duet with DiFranco, “Blackbird and the Fox,” reveals Dulli ready to rise above shattered relationships.