The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen (Cover Artwork)

The Afghan Whigs

The Afghan Whigs: GentlemenGentlemen (1993)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: ngs091ngs091
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen is a mix of soul and post-punk: it has Greg Dulli's cry-to-repent vocals, complete with the lyrics about self-pity and damnation; then we have the instruments, which are rather reminiscent of the complex yet loud rhythms and signatures of post-punkers. There's not many ot.
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The Afghan Whigs' Gentlemen is a mix of soul and post-punk: it has Greg Dulli's cry-to-repent vocals, complete with the lyrics about self-pity and damnation; then we have the instruments, which are rather reminiscent of the complex yet loud rhythms and signatures of post-punkers. There's not many other bands to compare this unit to both before their time and since (at least outside of Screaming Trees, as Dulli is good friends with Trees' Mark Lanegan, and is even currently in the band Gutter Twins with him, who released their first album just shortly ago).

The Afghan Whigs were based around Cincinnati, Ohio and were one of the definitive acts of the 1990s, up until their breakup in 2001. This is because they "created" a sound, not rode a bandwagon of past bands. They were, rather, the alchemists of this peculiar mixture that makes the band something to treasure. While Gentlemen's first half attains balance between two disparate sounds, side two has more of a emphasis on actual singing, and its soul edge is more apparent than its post-punk side. However, on songs like the rushing "Now You Know" and the stellar " What Jail Is Like," Gentleman cannot be accused too much of frontal padding, but rather going through two different phases, with slightly varying results.

Again on the second half, "My Curse" has a nice change of pace to Dulli's singing with female vocals from the pretty-voiced but somewhat craggy-sounding Marcy Mays. Although this song, at roughly two-thirds into the album, is also a slight step backwards from what came before it due to it not being as driving, yet it is still a testament to Afghan Whigs' diversity. Other songs like the beautiful but somewhat obviously-placed "Brother Woodrow / Closing Prayer," or Dulli's chance at being a blues-soul relict, "I Keep Coming Back," are two pieces that actually work on an album with lyrics like, "Ladies, let me tell you about myself / I got a dick for a brain / And my brain is gonna sell my ass to you / Now I'm OK, but in time I'll find I'm stuck / 'Cause she wants love, and I still want to fuck."

That prior lyric line was taken from the song, "Be Sweet," a white-hot rocker of classic proportions. That song, along with "Debonair" (probably the Whigs' best song) and the title track are tracks that give this album its grand status, as it's often part of many best-of-the-1990s lists. Gentlemen is the album that took this once-just-another grunge band into dazzling new heights. It is a great record made in a time when many acts didn't seem to know what non-metal-infused punk was. More than 15 years on, and Gentlemen is still an evolution of music.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Jonny0110 (October 1, 2014)

My favourite ever album. Phenomenal.

ngs091 (January 12, 2009)

Whoops, I just realized there is already a review of Nick Cave's new one.. so nevermind about that.

JohnGarrighan (January 12, 2009)

Amazing Record. Not quite Black Love. Crime Scene Investigation Part 1 being the best song I've ever heard. But, this record is awesome

mattp330 (January 11, 2009)

took the words right out of my mouth. i love this album, but black love is stellar

clam_tears (January 11, 2009)

Why are we just getting around to reviewing this album now? It's one of my favourite albums of all time, although Black Love is by far their best work. I'm going to go take a drive and listen to both albums now.

averybadjoke (January 10, 2009)

best album cover ever, very good album. though the last 3 tracks are meh.

Salty (January 10, 2009)

One of my top ten albums of all time. It is by far the darkest record put out in the 90's. Depressing, tragic angry. It conveys the emotions of a relationship like no record ever has. Brilliant. Anything Greg Dulli is a part of is going to be good though. Twilight Singers, The Gutter Twins. He's still making high quality music that flys under the radar. Good review.

notfeelingcreative (January 10, 2009)

I loved this album when I was like 15, I still love the opening track, 'If I were going'.

punknewscommenter (January 10, 2009)

Absolutely love this record and love this band. Thanks for the review!

danperrone (January 10, 2009)

this could be my favorite album cover of all time

i don't even know why

eazyd2 (January 10, 2009)

needs more cowbell.

ngs091 (January 9, 2009)

"keep the reviews coming ngr!"

Thank You!

I submitted two other album reviews to this website, that you can look for (hopefully) next week. Hinit hint, nudge nudge:

1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds-- Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!


2. X-- Los Angeles

borntaloze (January 9, 2009)

as i said the other day. my favorite album of all time. thanks again ngs091. and as good as the line from be sweet is, i think "temptation comes not from hell but from above" on my curse will always be my favorite. get the 33 1/3 book on this album. there's a lot of great info on this album that made me listen to it differently than i did the first few thousand times. i wouldn't say they were grunge though. i think they got lumped into that category from being on subpop in the early 90s.

Rastid (January 9, 2009)
Rastid (January 9, 2009)
ollywood (January 9, 2009)

keep the reviews coming ngr!

ollywood (January 9, 2009)

keep the reviews coming ngr!

supertomato (January 9, 2009)

finally someone giving the whigs props! one of the raddest bands. this is the best album to make you want to lock yourself in your room and turn the lights off and get real depressed yet rock still. i listened to the complete discography just the other day.

ngs091 (January 9, 2009)

"...now i'm of the opinion that everything dulli touches is gold."

Ya, his new bands like Twilight Singers and Gutter Twins are good, too!

Keep Rockin'

Nick Schwab

syr667 (January 9, 2009)

when i first heard this record, i didn't like it as much as their replacements-esque earlier work. in time however i really began to understand and i can safely say this has been one of my all time favorite records for the past 14 or 15 years. now i'm of the opinion that everything dulli touches is gold.

i think i'm gonna listen to some afghan whigs...


nocigar (January 9, 2009)

haven't heard much of this album...but those lyrics are awesome. score is for the lyrics.

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