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"Saturnalia" by The Gutter Twins (2008)

"Saturnalia" by The Gutter Twins
Twin twitterpation.


The Gutter Twins



Released By:

Sub Pop

Released In:


Reviewed By:

Kyle England

Reviewed On:

Tue Apr 15th, 2008



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What started as a joke has finally become a reality: Mark Lanegan (former lead singer of Screaming Trees and sometimes member of Queens of the Stone Age) and Greg Dulli (former lead singer for Afghan Whigs and leader of The Twilight Singers) are now officially The Gutter Twins with their debut release Saturnalia. Years back, Lanegan told a white lie to a European journalist and said that he and Dulli were collaborating on a project called The Gutter Twins, even though there was absolutely no truth to it at the time. Funny how some things just end up working out the way they do. And the greatest part is that Saturnalia is everything you would want in a record from these two: dark, moody and bleak, but with just dash of hope and redemption thrown in for good measure.

The Gutter Twins debut hits with a furious bang with the stellar opener "The Stations" with Lanegan in typically awesome vocal form and Dulli lending powerful backing vocals over an ocean of string arrangements. Following "The Stations" is "God's Children," one of Dulli's finest compositions in nearly a decade with Lanegan lending just the right balance of backing vocal harmony during Dulli's searing chorus. Nothing here however comes close to matching "Idle Hands," which will probably end up being my favorite Rock song of the year. The blend of crunchy guitar riffs, Lanegan's icy lead and Dulli's fist pumping "Hey!" shout right before the crescendo of dueling vocals during the chorus gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. While the second half of Saturnalia doesn't quite stack up to its five star first half, it still has its moments, most notably the gorgeous "I Was In Love With You" which is all Dulli at his most fragile and vulnerable best. I'll admit, I'm excited to hear Lanegan's sequel album with former Belle & Sebastian vocalist Isobel Campbell that's due later this year, but I'm more excited at the thought that Dulli and Lanegan might revisit this splendid project sometime in the near future, because Saturnalia has me frothing at the mouth for an encore.

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