Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood “Black Pudding”

Coming pretty quickly on the heels of last year’s The Mark Lanegan Band’s Blues Funeral, Lanegan’s collaboration with English minimalist bluesman Duke Garwood, Black Pudding, completely deflates the wall of sound atmosphere that Blues Funeral wholeheartedly embraced. Blues Funeral, which featured Alain Johannes, Jack Irons, Josh Homme, as well as Duke Garwood (on a few tracks), thrived on leaving no sonic space unfilled. Black Pudding is comprised of almost nothing but space. That isn’t to say that the album is full of dead air. Rather, Garwood’s minimal playing, which still manages to say a great deal thematically, keeps the album’s sound simple. Lanegan’s Americana drenched voice scratches and scrapes nicely over top of Garwood’s threadbare arrangements creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a sultry, and slightly spooky, Faulknerian Deep South gothic. One can almost envision the floating dust motes highlighted by the yellow light seeping through the yellowed blinds of Miss Coldfield’s office as described in the opening paragraph of Absalom, Absalom! in tracks like “Death Rides a White Horse.” 

Alice In Chains "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" (Review)

Some said grunge died when Mudhoney released an album on Reprise Records. Some said grunge died with Kurt Cobain (or Layne Staley, or Andrew Wood). Still some others said grunge died when Chris Cornell cut his hair, and then Soundgarden broke up. It’s a good thing that grunge is already dead now that Jerry Cantrell has cut his hair, eh? Regardless of when “grunge died,” somebody forgot to tell the aforementioned Jerry Cantrell about the news. Reunited, reinvigorated, and most of all re-validated, Alice In Chains (with new member and co-singer William DuVall, and returning bassist MIke Inez and drummer Sean Kinney) are continuing the sludgy/grungy tradition of detuned guitar riffs, heavy bass and drums, and that overall melancholy saturated music that brought a smile to the face of many AIC fans, and is now doing so once again.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nine Inch Nails “Came Back Haunted”

During a relatively short sabbatical from his main musical project, upon which he scored two major films, won an Oscar, and released a full album and a half of material with his wife Mariqueen Maandig under the name How To Destroy Angels, Trent Reznor has resurrected Nine Inch Nails. A new single, a new full length album (due Sept. 3rd), and a planned North American Fall Tour all comprise the Industrial King of Darkness’ return. The first single off the new album, titled Hesitation Marks has debuted, and it’s everything long term NIN fans have come to expect and want from Reznor.