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 singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist 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.