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“Unconventional, emotive landscapes of sound and lyricism”
There is an incomparable intensity encompassing Mark Lanegan and his signature bluesy baritone-filled melancholia. With his sin-soaked voice and lyrical depth that knows no bounds, he is hauntingly seductive, a quality that he has undoubtedly perfected, and continues to expand upon.
When combined with the legendary Duke Garwood’s treasure trove of instrumental accompaniments – which include the slow building of an acoustic guitar, a violin, and even a sitar – the result is an intimate, timeless record that epitomizes the definition of cult classic.
Consider the all-too-familiar theme of “War Memorial,” Lanegan’s first-person narrative of a fallen soldier, complete with gruesome imagery that could fit easily within the pages of All Quiet on the Western Front: “…saw a squad of deserters hung from an oak / saw officers shot from their saddles / through driving snow and black smoke,” while the majesty of “Death Rides a White Horse” finds a tiresome but resilient Lanegan daring the Grim Reaper to take his life: “slide the needle in until it doesn’t hurt.” The most intriguing shift occurs with the Howlin’ Wolf and James Brown-inspired “Cold Molly,” in which Lanegan’s innuendos drip with sensuality in his urgency: “make my rooster crow,” “love me each and every way,” and “come out and play.” Such interplay from dirge to electronic-flavored funk is perfectly placed, and further evidence of the magic that is this duo.