What a wild trip it is to hear former The Icarus Line vocalist Joe Cardamone team up with the legendary Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, The Gutter Twins, etc) for a project that sounds absolutely nothing like any of their previous outfits. On the self-titled debut from the duo dubbed Dark Mark Vs Skeleton Joe fans get an experimental Electro-fused romp through Darkwave and more on a heady head trip from two powerhouses of modern music.
Beginning with “Living Dead”, Dark Mark Vs Skeleton Joe immediately swerves with a Mark Lanegan sung track that sounds nothing like Mark Lanegan. It’s actually like Tom Waits doing Darkwave surrounded by some stunning thumping bass straight from your most favorite tracks by New Order and an eerie John Carpenter-style synth swirling and swallowing all. A heady head trip indeed.
“No Justice” starts and is a sparse reminder of the faux radio station that set the scene on Songs For The Deaf but only for a brief moment before an electronic stomper takes over and those familiar Lanegan vocals take hold while “Lost Animals” gets quiet and introspective, evoking Lanegan’s more intimate solo recordings. “Hiraeth” is a heavenly hymnal with “Lay Me Down” offering a blissfuly glistening listening experience followed by “No Way Out” which is a humming mood-setter akin to something out of Scarface or an earlier Michael Mann noir flick.
“Sanctified” is a quirky Electro rager that’s like a modern take on “Somebody’s Watching Me” filled with all the anxiety that made that track so memorable and maniacal with Cardamone adding a new vocal layer before “Burned” gets back on the quiet kick with a soft spoken soundscape and the former vocalist of The Icarus Line taking on the mantle of beat poet. “Crime” is futuristic and menacing with Lanegan’s gruff signature intonations piercing the synthetic wall with a rumbling bass adding to the contained frenzy as piano lines flitter about and “Traction” is equally unnerving playing like a turn of the century macabre musical number. And if that wasn’t already enough to whet your appetite then the rest of the back half of this blistering debut is equally unrelenting in its’ broodiness and bombast.
Dark Mark Vs Skeleton Joe arrives on October 15th through Rare Bird/Kitten Robot Records. Pre-orders are up and available to peruse and purchase when you head here for physical or here for digital. For the latest on Dark Mark Vs Skeleton Joe, head here, here, or here.