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The Twilight Swingers
Dynamite Steps - Sub Pop
FILTER Grade: 83%

By Kyle Lemmon on March 11, 2011


The Twilight Swingers

The Twilight SingersGreg Dulli soundtracks the sinister atmosphere and unsettling dread of ambling down a dark alley. Death lurks around every power chord and sustained piano tone. Dynamite Steps is the long-standing collective’s fifth album and its first in five years. Ani DiFranco, Petra Haden, The Verve’s Nick McCabe and Dulli’s Gutter Twins cohort Mark Lanegan make contributions, too. Consequently, this new suite of cloaked songcraft retains the energy of pre–Powder Burns efforts: An alt-rock guitar solo sears your ear on the chorus to “Last Night in Town” and the bass on the buzzing, cultish “Waves” guts the lo-fi desert landscape. Eleven tracks serve as brittle tableaus to recrimination, deep-seated emotional grief and shattered romance. The heart-rending piano ballad “She Was Stolen” is a perfect example. Dulli is the king of building to a pinnacled, string-filled moment and he nails it here. The burning edifice of the heart rarely sounds so transcendent.

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