The Twilight Singers sound would fit perfectly as the soundtrack to a California-set film noir. The dark, gritty melodic songs connect to the underbelly of this city where lead singer Greg Dulli resides, and new album Dynamite Steps continues where Blackberry Belle and Powder Burns left off.
The piano-driven lead track “Last Night in Town” is night driving music for someone trying to escape themselves, building and building to a cathartic end. “Be Invited” is a slow-burner that finds beauty just before ending.
First single “On the Corner”, starts with a steady, mid-tempo beat and atmospheric synths before the drums kick up and a string section turn the song into an orchestral gothic anthem (with a killer guitar solo). Following song “Gunshots” is a highlight, with Joseph Arthur adding backing vocals. The chorus of “Gunshots, baby, Let’s cut thru the crowd” evokes the images of riots and revolutions currently happening around the world, though we will never know if this was Dulli’s intent.
In interviews, Dulli has stated his lyrics are more about the feeling and emotion they evoke than, as opposed to attempting to create a narrative, so what one derives from these poetic blasts of rage, melancholy, and acceptance is up to the listener. However you intake the lyrics, the power of the music, and Dulli‘s unique vocals make it impossible not to feel something when listening.
A few cuts never hit the melodic high points the Singers are capable of, and Dulli should avoid trying for falsettos (they are not his strong suit), but overall, Dynamite Steps is an excellent addition to the Twilight Singers catalogue.
The Twilight Singers are playing the Henry Fonda Theater on May 25th. I will be there.
8.5/10 – http://www.thetwilightsingers.com/