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“Gentlemen” Number 163 in Pitchfork’s 90s Top 200

163. The Afghan Whigs
[Blast First; 1993]

“I’m a gentleman! I’m a gentle man!” Greg Dulli practically screams on the title track to the Afghan Whigs’ 1993 major-label debut. As alt-rock donned flannel and turned inward to the point of self-absorption, the Whigs sported tailored suits and an air of conflicted introspection, as if Dulli alone among his contemporaries was willing to go to the darker wings of the male psyche. Meanwhile, Dulli and Rick McCollum’s guitars jitter and contort and ride drummer Steve Earle’s thundering toms to form a tense, threatening groove. “Gentlemen” is one of the most harrowing, horrifying break-up songs of the decade, with music that matches the violence of the words. –Stephen M. Deusner

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