Dynamite Steps

Unleashing a persona that's part barroom romantic, part serial killer, Greg Dulli's Twilight Singers  project has now eclipsed his Nineties soul-grunge outfit Afghan Whigs. On the group's fifth record,  arrangements vary — dissonant strings, thrift-store drum machines, wah-wah guitar — but never the sense of menace, even when girl voices (Ani DiFranco, Petra Haden) hover like lost spirits. "Gunshots, baby/let's cut through the crowd," Dulli croons at one point over sniping guitar, like Satan taking a date to an assassination. Whatever the scenario, you know everyone will regret it in the morning. And yet no  one can resist. Even at this late date, that's pretty much what rock is all about.

Listen to "On the Corner"

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