While still just below the radar in the U.S., Afterhours are musical icons in their homeland of Milan, Italy, routinely reaching the Top 10 on the Italian charts. A steady stream of annual stateside appearances, as well as good musical friends like former Afghan Whig Greg Dulli, have helped raised their profile.
The band’s latest disc, I Milanesi Ammazzano il Sabato (translating into “The Milanese Kill Saturdays” ), was released on Universal Records in May and shot right up the charts in Italy, debuting at No. 3. Lead singer Manuel Agnelli claims the album is a paen of sorts to his hometown, a dark and dirty reflection on the evolution of a city reknowned more for its worship of all things shiny.
Agnelli sings in both English and Italian, but what might potentially be lost in translation is reclaimed by the band’s emotionally rough and ready mix of atmospheric Rock Folk, grungy guitars and dense arrangements.
With only a trio of Midwestern dates on this tour, the band’s Cincinnati stop is probably due in part to their affection/connection with Dulli, who’s relentless promotion of the band in the U.S. included producing their last disc, Ballads for Little Hyenas, and equal turns for Agnelli and Dulli as back-up musicians in one other’s bands on tour.
This time around, Dulli just guests on the new disc along with PJ Harvey co-conspirator, John Parish. The band’s short promotional tour stops at Northside on Monday before catching up with Dulli and Mark Lanegan’s Gutter Twins for a few east coast dates.
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