Saturnalia – Green Bay Press-Gazette

The Gutter Twins’ sound matches name in ‘Saturnalia’
By Thomas Rozwadowski

You won’t find a more appropriate new band name than The Gutter Twins.

It’s music mired in grime, with spiritual imagery swirling amid the dark Gothic overtones and disparate vocals of alt-rock’s two most indulgent figureheads, Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan.

The stellar collaboration has been several years in the making, and whatever led to its delay helped give the final product a real sense of purpose.

From Lanegan that could probably be expected. The former Screaming Trees (“Nearly Lost You”) frontman’s primeval growl dominates whether singing lead or background vocals. Couple that with Dulli’s (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers) sex-soaked croon and it’s a flawless juxtaposition for an album filled with songs about good and evil, hope and violence, sanctity and sin.

While the building crescendo in “Idle Hands” is “Saturnalia’s” standout moment, opening track “The Stations” is a prime starting point. It’s the perfect collision of sound and fury.

The track moves like an ominous storm cloud, the black and blacker of Lanegan and Dulli’s vocals intensifying before the entire sky is cloaked in darkness. Lyrically, it gathers the same sense of impending doom (“I hear the Rapture’s coming/They say he’ll be here soon/Right now there’s demons crawling/All around my room.”) while strings, guitar and drums thrash about in a sinister chorus.

Then, just as quickly as the storm comes, everything fades. Redemption will arrive another day.

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