Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood - Black Pudding

Lord of the dark returns

He made his name with
Screaming Trees, and then
enhanced it with appearances/
collaborations with Queens Of
The Stone Age, the Afghan
Whigs’ Greg Dulli (for both The
Gutter Twins and The Twilight
Singers), Soulsavers and Belle
& Sebastian’s Isobel Campbell.
But since 1990, Mark Lanegan
has also been making
lugubrious albums of his own
which deserve just as much
merit – if not more.

Though technically
a collaboration with English
Duke Garwood,
Black Pudding could well serve
as Lanegan’s eighth solo
album, following on nicely from
last year’s sublime Blues
Funeral. This 12-track
collection is as stark and
downbeat as its predecessor –
but it wouldn’t be a Lanegan
album if that weren’t weren’t
the case. While Garwood’s
delicate and often classically
leaning guitar stylings lend this
album its own distinct identity,
it’s really Lanegan’s mood-dampening
lyrics and vocals
that define it. Take, for
instance, the gloomy elegy of
War Memorial or the ever-so-slightly
country-tinged lament
of Shade Of The Sun, the
desperate religious pleas
of which remain resolutely
unanswered. Another strong
addition to Lanegan’s
increasingly impressive
canon, it makes despair
sound worryingly inviting.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Ipecac | IPC-1453 (CD / LP)

Reviewed by Mischa Pearlman
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