Mark Lanegan Band
So this is where grunge goes to die. I’ve always wondered what happens to relics of burnt out genres. Apparently the grunge gods stay bleak, only, they add electric drums. Lots of them. Synths too. And it’s not like Mark Lanegan, the former vocalist of grunge godfathers, the Screaming Trees, ever needs to associate his deep, bluesy rock licks with synths. Not with his baritone, almost-Tom- Waits-like voice providing all the mellow drama an album could ever need.
Yet, Blues Funeral is littered with effects and programming. And here is the crux of the indecisiveness: much of the dynamics sound like afterthought. A lot of the great stuff of the album is just noise, but good, jamming, crunchy noise, like the rhythm sections on The Gravedigger’s Song, Riot In My House and Quiver Syndrome and the wailing cacophony of Leviathan. These are the standouts; the rest is just as confused as a disco song on a grunge album. I wish there was a little more blues and a little less funeral. (LV)
By Luka Vracar
Published in Playboy South Africa June 2012