Album Details

September 25, 2006
Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Punk

Album Review

A live and largely acoustic set by former Stranglers singer Hugh Cornwell and his current touring band, Dirty Dozen is roughly evenly split between Cornwell's solo work and his better-known (and, it must be said, mostly just plain better) work with everyone's favorite new wave misanthropes. The solo material comes across considerably better, however, likely because it was written with Cornwell's weathered (to put it as politely as possible) voice in mind. Early Stranglers hits like 1979's career high point "Duchess" are pitched considerably lower nowadays, and even then Cornwell misses about half the notes and doesn't seem to quite have the breath to finish the wordy verses at just the right point. In comparison, solo single "Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit" makes better use of Cornwell's current Nick Cave-meets-Johnny Cash vocal instrument. His band veers between acceptable and amateurish, hitting its nadir near the set's end with a downright painful take on the Stranglers' reworking of Burt Bacharach's "Walk On By": the song simply seems to be out of the band's league. It's tough to recommend Dirty Dozen for anyone other than the most obsessive and forgiving of Stranglers devotees.
Stewart Mason, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Duchess
  2. First Bus to Babylon
  3. Goodbye Toulouse
  4. Picked Up by the Wind
  5. Hanging Around
  6. Black Hair, Black Eyes, Black Suit
  7. Always the Sun
  8. Nerves of Steel
  9. Nuclear Device
  10. Putting You in the Shade
  11. Walk on By
  12. No More Heroes
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