Powder Burns – Columbus Alive

Columbus Alive
Twilight Singers has always been kind of a misnomer. Since the days of the Afghan Whigs, Greg Dulli’s music has been better suited for after midnight, the perfect soundtrack for the culmination of intense flirtation or dirty deeds done dirt-cheap.

On Powder Burns, out this week, Dulli continues to mine his formula with surprising success.

As ever, the simple, powerful chord progressions begin in the gutter and shoot to the stars. Somewhere, they turn a corner from brooding to blistering, and by each song’s climactic end, a seeming battalion of musicians locks into a trance, striking their instruments with the weight of guilt and elation.

Orchestral strings and backup singers soar atop the swell as Dulli flails in and out of love, succumbing finally to a grand release. You can imagine him lighting a cigarette in the hazy aftermath.

Sure, this collection of songs may be indistinguishable from any other Twilight Singers album, but that should make for seamless incorporation into the legendary live show. The band is known to perform two rave-up sets a night, plowing through Dulli’s extensive catalog and an impressive array of soulful covers, from old Motown hits to “Hey Ya.”

—Chris DeVille

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