The Gutter Twins CD review by Troy Brookins

Music Reviews
The Gutter Twins CD review by Troy Brookins
Mar 3, 2008, 03:45

The Gutter Twins - Saturnalia


There has been a lot of high expectation regarding this long talked about Gutter Twins project from Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan. Bantered about for the last few years but only now finally coming to fruition, two superheroes jump in the ring and try to make a project that will blend the super-ego with the subdued. Can Dulli allow Lanegan to be a presence without being hip-checked off the stage? This is no Jagger/Richards showdown since both men are legitimate front men. What's unfortunate about this experiment is that both seem to be fronting their own band rather than sharing the project. There's a strong lack of cohesiveness that's needed here. It's as if Dulli and Lanegan have different agendas and there's no clear point of view. The Lanegan songs are heavy and hold their own, but Dulli ‘s voice seeps in and adds something that seems out of place. Fortunately there are bright spots that save Saturnalia from complete disaster like opening track “The Stations” which begins with Lanegan's trademark rasp as well as the hard rockin' “Idle Hands.” The moments when these two blend seamlessly, “Circle the Fingers,” “All Misery/Flowers” and “The Body” are a dynamic force that reach down deep and play with the darkest of emotions. Both Dulli and Lanegan have lived their share of self-inflicted bullshit and that's played out in spades on Saturnalia. It's a dark record that captures a lifetime of fucked-up moves and bad rolls of the dice, but it would hold together much better as an EP rather than a full-length because there are only a handful of songs that really stand out, wishing this was more than just a collaboration between friends. It's too bad because both are capable of so much more. [Sub Pop]

-Troy Brookins


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