Blackberry Belle – HUMO (Belgium)

Translated from the original Dutch by Els Van Cromphout

“Black out the windows, it’s party time”, whispers Greg Dulli at the beginning of “Blackberry Belle”. Ever since Afghan Whigs released the smashing “Gentlemen” upon unsuspecting mankind, we know he doesn’t organise your usual parties, but seedy orgies where lascivious lusts dance the tango with the grim reaper. It’s therefore no surprise that the next line goes: “You know how I love stormy weather, so let’s all play suicide”. At the end of this cd, in the rambling “Number Nine”, the anonymous storyteller throws of his mask and reveals himself as – surprise! – he-who-keeps-the-fire-burning-in-the-afterworld.

On this second Twilight Singers album (i.e. Dulli and an ever changing collective of fine musicians) the devil frequently changes outfits. “You wanna go for a ride?”, he grins in “Teenage Wristband”, the invitation to a death trip ending in a horny, stormy piece of rock music. Made out of the same black material: “Decatur St.” and “The Killer”. The gothic soul of “Papillon” only appears to be calm, because under the surface glows a desire for self destruction: “If down iz up – I think I’ll be doin alright, tonite”. And for those who still don’t get the message: the murky “Fat City (Slight Return)”, propelled by nervous guitars, summarises: “To die is to fly”.

“Blackberry Belle”, loosely inspired by Jack London’s novel “Martin Eden”, is a sizzling film noir, best enjoyed during the hour of the wolf.

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