Afghan Whigs - Do To The Beast (2LP)
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Strong and powerful, The Afghan Whigs songs are typically outstanding soul-inflected hard rock, and Greg Dulli's nicotine-bathed voice is the perfect fit for their musical approach. Always keen to dig deeper into the dark spaces of self-loathing and needy emotional manipulation than anyone else in rock, it's often difficult to deal with Dulli's grim fascination with the ugly side of the male psyche. Here, the songs cohere into a larger statement with the grace of his best work and the performances and arrangements manage to be something more than the sum of their parts. Do to the Beast is an ambitious attempt re-creating the feeling of the Afghan Whigs while retooling their sonic fingerprint; the final product is intelligent and often fascinating.