buy the afghan whigs in spades

Order The Afghan Whigs'
New Album: In Spades

Powder Burns –
4 stars

When Greg Dulli says, “I’m alive — It kinda took me by surprise,” you know he’s not kidding. Or the only one surprised. One of rock’s most notorious and unrepentant users, the former Afghan Whigs frontman now says he’s finally cleaned up his act (though we still wouldn’t trust him with our house keys). Whatever the truth, it’s hard not to hear Powder Burns, the fourth album from his post-Whigs band The Twilight Singers, as a chronicle of his battle with addiction. From the itching temptation of the title track to the drug-copping tale of Forty Dollars to the morning-after sickness of There’s Been an Accident, Dulli immerses us in a seedy, pitch-black netherworld of dealers, users, paranoia and betrayal. And as always, he sets it against a backdrop of darkly decadent rock built from reverb-drenched guitars, graced with lush melodies and harmonies, and topped with his soaring, swooping, raggedly soulful vocals. In other words, it’s another seductive, harrowing, intoxicating and just plain magnificent disc from one of the most overlooked talents in rock. Of course, if you’ve heard Dulli before, that won’t take you by surprise.

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