Friday, September 26, 2008

Album Review: Adorata

The Gutter Twins
Sub Pop/iTunes

Similar to The Twilight Singers A Stitch in Time ep, The Gutter Twins have released an ep of original songs recorded during the sessions for their debut Saturnalia album, plus a handful of covers the band has played live over the course of the year.

Gutter Twin Greg Dulli's pedigree in choosing covers remains impeccable. A cover of Vetiver's "Belles" gently opens Adorata, maintaining the original versions hushed beauty and drifty tone. This gentle introduction is quickly discarded for the urgent percussion and piano of Jose Gonzales' "Down the Line", which sounds more Twilight Singers-esque than the anything else Dulli has done with Gutter partner Mark Lanegan up to this point. Give the band credit for capturing the songs building tension in the studio recording. Definitely an album highlight.

Perhaps all the time touring Europe in the last year influenced the band's decision to cover Primal Scream's classic "Deep Hit of the Morning Sun". Gone are the heavy electronics of the original and replaced with droning instrumentation and Lanegan and Dulli trading off vocal duties to preserve the songs narcotic psychedelia.

Lanegan and Dulli trade vocal duties for the bluesy cover of the traditional "St. James Infirmary" to nice effect. The band's take on Eleven's "Flow Like a River" is a touching tribute to the recently departed Natasha Schneider (a portion of the proceeds from this ep will go to the Natasha Schneider memorial fund to help pay her medicals expenses) and a recent staple of the band's live show.

Two Gutter Twins originals close the album. Both "Spanish Doors" and "We Have Met Before" wouldn't be out of place as part of a cinematic film score with their intimate vocals from Mark Lanegan and orchestral instrumentation. It makes one wonder what else is left on the cutting room floor from this band.

Sadly, Adorata is currently only available through iTunes. Lets hope the band inclues a physical release of this excellent ep soon.

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