The Afghan Whigs have always made soul music sound contemporary and revitalised. From ‘Up In It’, the punk/grunge record, with just a hint of 60’s Motown, to ‘1965’, a classic black soul album full of heavy guitars and danceable grooves that could stand alongside classics from Marvin Gaye or The Supremes and not look out of place. ‘Do To The Beast’ continues that tradition. This is a modern soul album, wrapped in layers of Twilight Singers atmosphere, with just a hint of their 90’s alternia roots.
The first chords of ‘Do To The Beast’ are a dark, heavy blanket of tortured soul falling across the vapid wasteland of 2014’s disaffected indie pop. By the time Greg Dulli opens his mouth to wail, rather than sing the first lines of ‘Parked Outside’ – “If time can incinerate what I was to you / Allow me to illustrate how the hand becomes the fuse“, you know two things for certain: Firstly, ‘Do To The Beast’ is not going to sound like any other Afghan Whigs album. Secondly, this is a record that will have you hooked from start to finish.
First single ‘Algiers’ feels like the soundtrack to the nastiest, most brutally realistic spaghetti western you’ve ever seen, something the band obviously noticed as well, if the video is anything to go by:
While sonically it may be more Twilight Singers than classic Whigs, it’s Dulli through and through. Every song has a way of reeling you in, whether it be the menacing smoothness of ‘Algiers’, or the fragile stark piano of ‘Lost In The Woods’, before delivering an emotional punch to the guts. It’s difficult to determine whether ‘The Beast’ in the title is an external entity that Dulli is battling, or whether it’s Dulli himself. Either way it makes for an enthralling listen.
‘Do To The Beast’ should be your new favourite album.
By: Clint Morrow
Official Website: www.TheAfghanWhigs.com
All Music Guide: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p3509
Summer’s Kiss: http://www.summerskiss.com/