Amber Headlights – Orlando Weekly

By Billy Manes
Orlando Weekly

Any affair involving Greg Dulli comes with a slightly embarrassing caveat: This is a large and sweaty man, wailing with sexual frustration. But in nearly all cases a fuck-it-all, gut-burning genius reveals itself with repeated exposure. Amber Headlights isn’t a “new” Greg Dulli record, but tracks he wrote and recorded in 2001 while attempting a tentative return to guitar rock. When his good friend Ted Demme passed away unexpectedly during the recording process, Dulli shelved the material and moved on to the Twilight Singers’ Blackberry Belle. Dug up four years later, Headlights sounds as new (and old) as just about anything in Dulli’s catalog, seething and swaying in some fictitious Santa Monica noir vein, a note-missing soundtrack to sad sex. Big drums and guitar swagger kick the first track (“So Tight”) into a sloppy rock mess, and on “Cigarettes,” a genius rush of epic disjointedness, he’s talking about dying, too. By the time the album settles into itself, you’re too lost in the continuous wash of incoherent waves to feel anything but drunken gratification.

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