Powder Burns – Plan 9 Music
Greg Dulli remains one of the most interesting and unpredictable figures loitering at the razor’s edge of pop culture. In his manifestations as leader/frontman of acclaimed groups The Twilight Singers and, previously, the Afghan Whigs, he’s proven to be one of popular music’s most enduring iconoclasts. Justifiably controversial, provocative, literary and utterly compelling as a performer as well as a songwriter (and vice versa), Dulli has never shied away from putting his demons on display. And on Dulli’s latest effort—the Twilight Singers undeniably cathartic, brilliantly hallucinatory new album Powder Burns he continues this precarious pattern—if only to subtly twist it and subvert expectations. Indeed, Powder Burns vitally explores Dulli’s classically maximal obsessions—the sex, the drugs, the rock and roll (and let’s not forget the guilt)—yet shoots them through new prisms. For one, the album was largely produced (or, in characteristic Dulli liner-note parlance, “shot on location”) in New Orleans shortly after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, recorded in ramshackle studio conditions where generators were necessary to provide power and lyrics were written at night by candlelight. It’s the arc of a man that begins with his highest high who hits his lowest low and lives to tell the tale. You need this.