Mark Lanegan has had a stellar and diverse career. Whether he was fronting Screaming Trees, being an unofficial Queens Of The Stone Age member, lending his iconic pipes to UNKLE, or duetting with Greg Dulli, Lanegan has managed to become something of a musical chameleon. On Gargoyle, Lanegan combines all those different styles into one cohesive album which also happens to be one of his finest 21st Century works.
Collaborations with Rob Marshall once again along with the aforementioned Dulli and the almighty Alain Johannes has yielded an album that is one of the most fresh sounding of the vocalist’s entire career yet inherently true to Lanegan at its’ core.
Undeniably a Lanegan record throughout thanks to those uncanny pipes, Gargoyle is also one of the most diverse musicality-wise by really getting into bed with those UNKLE moments and snuggling the shit out of them. Take “Death’s Head Tattoo” which opens the record with processed beats, hypnotic bass lines, and barely a guitar to be heard. “Nocturne” keeps that trend going with spacious synthetics enveloping Lanegan’s baritone until opening into a broad chorus with wailing guitars providing a wall of sound.
“Blue Blue Sea” changes the narrative slightly coming in like a Sunday hymnal until “Beehive” brings the beats back during a guitar-centric mammer jammer that sounds like classic Lanegan from start to finish.
Later on, “Sister” is the sounds of Lanegan as elder statesman sitting you down and intensely telling you that story you never knew you needed to hear, “Emperor” has some of that QOTSA vibe mixed with “The Passenger” while “Drunk On Destruction” adds drum n bass underneath this gorgeous guitar-driven monolith of a ditty.
Gargoyle is out on April 28th via Heavenly Recordings. Pre-order options are available here and here. For more on Mark Lanegan, including where you can catch him and his band on tour this summer, head here.