Top positive review
Black is the Colour
on 3 September 2012
When 'grunge' was taking off in the 90's there were a few bands who stood somewhat in the shadows. Left behind by the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and even the lesser 'grunge-lite' acts that came along a little later (Silverchair, Candlebox, Creed). Among those left behind where The Afghan Whigs and Screaming Trees, the bands fronted by The Gutter Twins. Since the break-up of both bands, they've kept exceptionally busy while remaining just under the radar - Dulli has been busy with his Twilight Singers project, while Lanegan has added a few more records to his incredible solo cannon (and that's not even touching on the wealth of collaborations).
Saturnalia isn't their first collaboration together - Lanegan has appeared on a number of Dulli's Twilight Singers' records - but it marks their first as The Gutter Twins. In many ways it's the record that you would expect from them both, it explores the same darkened streets (Seven Stories Underground), embraces the darkness that surrounds them (Idle Hands), yet never giving up hope (Who Will Lead Us?).
Sonically, there's the soul of the Whigs, the gospel of the Trees and I Was In Love With You sounds like a gothic Beatles number. It's not often that you can say there's a real etheral quality to guitars that seem be sparring ferociously (see the excellent Circle the Fringes), but Saturnalia is one of those records. It's not Black Love or Dust, but it finds Dulli and Lanegan right where they feel comfortable. In the shadows.