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Afghan Whigs - CONGREGATION ((Vinyl))
Afghan Whigs: Greg Dulli, Rick McCollum (guitar, vocals); John Curley (bass, vocals); Steve Earle (drums).
Additional personnel: Ruby Belle (vocals); Lance (piano, vocals); Shecky Stein (piano); Shawn Smith (background vocals).
Recorded at Bear Creek, Woodinville, Washington and Buzz's Kitchen, Los Angeles, California in July and August 1991.
The third Afghan Whigs album, 1992's CONGREGATION, turns on one clear thematic axis: relationships going bad. CONGREGATION's emotional terrain covers the straits between man and heroin ("I'm Her Slave") and those between men and women. Varying the Sub Pop "grunge" formula, the Whigs stretch their wings musically, including several clean-sounding slow songs. If not for the subject matter, these could probably be called ballads.
Drummer Steven Earle hammers out solid frames for Rick McCollum's guitar showmanship, but this is really singer and lyricist Greg Dulli's hour. His emerging persona as damaged sinner is in full force here. The aggressive, snarling predator of "Conjure Me" promises to "Turn on you, before you turn on me." Elsewhere, Dulli offers the downright mean-spiritedness of "you were only mean to me" ("This is My Confession") and a sickening transformation into "Let Me Lie To You"'s soothing crooner of "I won't ever hurt you." A secret bonus track, "Miles Iz Dead," closes the album with a chilling chorus of "Don't forget the alcohol." Previewing the UPTOWN AVONDALE EP, a cover of "The Temple" (from JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR) demonstrates the group's knack for transforming covers into Afghan Whigs originals.
- RSD Release Date: n/a
- Genre: Pop