Review: Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral
Musically Lanegan manages to bring together a range of different styles and influences and create an artful and emotional impact with all of them. The style varies from Gray Goes Black's post-punk rhythm with synthesized backdrops, carrying a reminiscence to Joy Division, who Lanegan cited as an influence on the album, to the harder frenzied distorted grunge riffathon found on Riot In My House, sounding more akin to Lanegan's days in Screaming Trees, to the much more rapid and joyful Quiver Syndrome which in it's buzzing synthesizers and fast paced riffs carries more of a shoegaze influence. It's probably the most uplifting song on the album, although there wouldn't be much competition.
The overall musical influence found is a psychedelic one of sweeping synthesizer backdrops and dwindling basslines to create a more spaced out and grand atmosphere. In the album's constant looking at themes of despair and darkness, a fairly gothic influence can be identified, albeit matured upon and given a classier makeover so it does feel more like extremely manic blues. However, this is entirely effortless in creating an atmosphere of gripping beauty throughout.
Overall, this is an album worth checking out if you want to hear something with a mellow and melancholic atmosphere but till sounding incredibly fresh and awe-inspiring. Mark Lanegan's vocals are simply epic in their bluesy charm and are effortless in characterizing the album's prominent sense of woe and misery. And with a wide range of musical influences, from gothic dance to desert rock, every song is a new experience of overwhelming beauty. Really, this album is successful in presenting an emotional view of death and despair as it does so in a way that is permanently breathtaking.
Mark Lanegan Band's Blues Funeral is out on the 6th of February via 4AD. Lanegan will tour the UK in March.