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CD review: Mark Lanegan Band

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Annie Zaleski

The Details

Mark Lanegan Band
Blues Funeral
Four stars

Former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan has spent the past decade plumbing the depths of darkness—musical and emotional—in a series of projects. The excellent Blues Funeral, his first album under the Mark Lanegan Band moniker in eight years, continues along the same ominous path.

Recorded by Alain Johannes, who also plays on the album alongside Jack Irons—and featuring appearances by Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Lanegan’s Gutter Twins partner, Greg Dulli—the album touches on foreboding junkyard Krautrock (“The Gravedigger’s Song”), macabre blues-punk (“Riot In My House”) and organ-drenched goth-folk (“St. Louis Elegy”).

Blues Funeral’s synths add mournful weirdness to Lanegan’s despondent creations. The singer channels Bowie’s elegant decay on the burbling synthpop highlight “Ode to Sad Disco,” while the quirky, proggy zaps twitching through “Quiver Syndrome” conjure Roxy Music and eerie, funereal keyboards match the subdued lounge-lizard vibe of “Harborview Hospital.” Aching and haunting.

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