The Gutter Twins – Saturnalia

February 3, 2010

Gutter TwinsDarkness exists in all of us, just as lightness does (consider the two “evil” and “good” respectively) and there are three types of human beings (read as: musicians) in this world.  The first is a well balanced individual who is aware of both the dark and light side of their personality and is capable of keeping a middle road stance between the two – never choosing a side.  The second wears the darker side like the trendiest clothes for the whole world to see, but is not truly a “dark” person.  The third is an individual who accepts the darker side but somehow makes it an entrancing phenomenon.

The Gutter Twins – comprised of The Afghan Wings Greg Dulli and Screaming Trees Mark Lanegan - are very much the third type.  Much like their brethren who were able to embrace that inner darkness – Johnny Cash, Matt Skiba, Shane MacGowan, et al – and somehow make it into something you feel empathetic towards rather than recoiling in fear.  Saturnalia is chock full of powerful tunes that effectively illustrate man’s darker personality, all the while keeping it strangely upbeat (not in a Disney way, rather a punk rock way).

With songs like, “All Misery/Flowers” and “Circle the Fringes” you get the impression you’re being entertained by the anti-hero Hollywood archetype.  Even the lyrics, “My idle hands- There's nothing I can do but be the Devil's plaything, baby and know that I've been used” on the devilishly deviant “Idle Hands” make you want to commit random acts of sin – despite your moral backing.

Heavy but beautiful guitar work, thunderous percussion and iconic vocal work make Saturnalia a freakishly fantastic album.  You’re conscience is consistently tapping on your shoulder and waving its “no-no” finger at you, all the while you keep turning up the volume knob.  You get the sense that if you were to give one of these characters a ride, you’d wake up missing organs.


Captain Morgan
Big Wheel Music Contributor



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