A telephone's busy signal kicks off the sexy strut of "Esta Noche," a Rhodes organ and horn section igniting this torch song in R&B clothing. "Teenage Wristband," meanwhile, cops a piano vibe from Coldplay, with Petra Haden snaking her voice inside Dulli's, driving home the song's chorus of adolescent longing ("I'm gonna stay up all night"). And "St. Gregory" carjacks Leonard Cohen, tempting the sardonic bard with promises of gangsta-land violence ("Goddamn, I got me a gun / We goin' cappin later on / Don't that sound like fun?").
Violence and misogyny have always been Dulli's twin obsessions, and his Afghan Whigs effort, Gentlemen, stands as a monument in the alt-rock tradition, alongside such works as Daydream Nation and Nevermind. While the Twilight Singers' Play Blackberry Belle may not match the power of these earlier works, it's still a unique and affecting effort that deserves a wide audience.