18 January 2013

18th Jan - Mark Lanegan's Whiskey for the Holy Ghost

Artist – Album: Mark Lanegan – Whiskey for the Holy Ghost
Released: 18th January 1994
Sounds Like: Spirit soaked night-time songs

Mark Lanegan is an artist I’ve been meaning to investigate for years. From his earlier, rocky works with his band Screaming Trees to his bit part role with Queens of the Stone Age at the peak of their powers, to his more recent, apparently exceptional collaborations with Belle & Sebastian singer Isobel Campbell, his is a name that often crops up and is always followed by acclaim.

Whiskey for the Holy Ghost is his second solo offering, and it’s amongst his most highly rated work. It’s not hard to see why. Although released when the scene was at it’s most popular (soon to end with the death of Lanegan’s close friend Kurt Cobain), it is not your straightforward grunge album. Rather, it’s a late night collection of acoustic tales of heartbreak and drinking, admittedly with some grungy tendencies.

His deep drawl evokes Tom Waits and the style of the album reminds me of American Music Club or Grant Lee Buffalo, similarly early 90’s bands that both fit in the era and managed to retain their uniqueness.  The opener ‘The River Rise’ begins with a creepy solo whistle, which  eventually gives way to arpeggio guitars and a majestic croon which sets the tone for the remainder of the album. Other go-check-them-on-Youtube tunes include ‘El Sol’, ‘Shooting Gallery’ and ‘Pendulum’.

It’s taken a while but I’ve finally got round to listening to Mark Lanegan. And, to be perfectly honest, it took a few listens to realise that this was an album I really liked. But it was worth the wait.  

Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       The River Rise – 4:29
2.       Borracho – 5:40
3.       House a Home – 3:07
4.       Kingdoms of Rain -3:24
5.       Carnival – 3:40
6.       Riding the Nightingale – 6:17
7.       El Sol – 3:42
8.       Dead on You – 3:11
9.       Shooting Gallery – 3:32
10.   Sunrise – 2:55
11.   Pendulum – 2:12
12.   Judas Touch – 1:37
13.   Beggar’s Blues – 5:36

Listen to ‘The River Rise ’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lmLMf-l9Kg

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