Album review: Mark Lanegan Band | No Bells On Sunday

Mark Lanegan is clearly on a journey. He has travelled some distance from the admittedly excellent heavy classic rock of the Screaming Trees. Where he is headed is anyone’s guess, but if it’s as interesting as this EP, it will be some destination. This set opens with the pulsing, dark electronica of Dry Iced, Lanegan’s deep vocal underpinned by a throbbing beat and sparse, spare keyboard lines. Better still is the title track, a bed of slow, deliberate keyboards pick out a soaring melody that Lanegan just owns.

After two very nocturnally-oriented tracks the EP goes all uptempo on brawny, electronic-tinged rocker Sad Lover before taking a sharp left on Jonas Pap, a throwback to Lanegan’s nineties folk-oriented solo material. The EP finishes with Smokestack Magic, the longest thing here, which builds slowly and gradually without ever really taking off. If this EP is anything to go by, Lanegan’s next full-length Phantom Radio, due out in October, will be worth looking out for.

Killian Laher

Tracklist:

1. Dry Iced
2. No Bells On Sunday
3. Sad Lover
4. Jonas Pap
5. Smokestack Magic

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