The Afghan Whigs – Do to the Beast
From their rough-hewn beginnings with Big Top Halloween to the enduring elegance of 1965, each Afghan Whigs album somehow arrived with the air of a moment they’d always been building towards. A complete surprise upon its unceremonious announcement by Breaking Bad’s Bob Odenkirk (via Twitter) two months ago, Do to the Beast blows the dust off 16 years with a swaggering barroom rocker and Greg Dulli’s clear statement of intent: “If they’ve seen it all, show ‘em something new.”
As daring as the cover’s protagonist shovelling two fistfuls of coke into his face, Dulli again proves himself a master of misdirection, proffering a gothic, modern twist on the classic R&B atmospherics of Marvin Gaye over an all-out guitar brawl – it can't be a coincidence that Matamoros segues into It Kills as fluidly as What’s Happening Brother into Flyin’ High. From the countrified lament of Algiers to The Lottery’s hurtling, glitch-infused energy, this is a slowburner dripping with soul. [Dave Kerr]
Pick up the next issue of The Skinny on 2 Apr for Greg Dulli's track-by-track guide to the album.
The Afghan Whigs play Manchester Cathedral on 17 Jul and Glasgow O2 ABC on 18 Jul.http://theafghanwhigs.com