Mark Lanegan Band
/beggars banquet; 2004/

more info:

Being busy is ok, being busy is fine. Two weeks ago, when i wasn't as busy as i am today, feeling helpless, bored and stupid, i would listen to Ray Charles, 60s & 70s soul music, jazz classics, Elliott Smith, some hip hop and Mark Lanegan's Bubblegum. My record store clerk friend is a big fan of Mark Lanegan. He was into grunge before it happened (debut albums are his favourites) and he loves stoner. Considering the fact that Lanegan was a part time QOTSA member and a part time Twilight Singers (Afghan Whigs' Greg Dulli's darker band) member one may wonder how he got from post-grunge loser status to everybody's big buddy. Anyone suicidal enough to ask him the question will have my eternal respect.

Bubblegum is filled with rusty rock n roll and raw blues, somewhere in between Tom Waits and, well, QOTSA. Lanegan is wild and angry on tracks such as the almost industrial "Metamphetamine Blues", the dark rock n roll hit "Sideways in Reverse" or the very stoner-like "Death Valley Blues" and he sounds old, tame and beat on tracks like "When Your Number Is Up," "Little Willie John," or "Out of Nowhere." The balance achieved is a singular one, and it fits Lanegan very well, thank you.

PJ Harvey sings on radio friendly "Hit the City" and the darker "Come to Me." She knows how to sing and adds some cocaine sexiness to this already dark record. All in all, and despite a few minor missteps, Bubblegum is an impressive record, filled with guts, warm alcohol, dim-lit bars and warm nights in desert.

-Barbara H

/sept 1st 2004/