Please allow me to introduce y'all to Mark Lanegan, the only man
alive who can wear a soul-patch without looking like a total fool.
You may not know his name, but you will no doubt recognize his voice
it has graced a number of minor hits by the Screaming Trees
and Queens of the Stone Age during the past 11 years. Well, you paid
very little attention to the Screaming Trees and even less attention
to Lanegan as a solo artist, but you did like those Queens o' the
Stone Age fellows, and thus I can only hope that you'll give the Mark
Lanegan Band a shot.
The Mark Lanegan Band is chock full of alt-rock royalty two of
the Queens, one of the Weens and, heck, even Fat Greg Dulli shows up,
proving that the recording sessions must have been catered. Here
Comes That Weird Chill is subtitled "Methamphetamine Blues,
Extras & Oddities" and it "features the lead track from the upcoming
full length album Bubblegum," for whatever that is worth.
Those who are familiar with Lanegan's previous masterpieces may be
taken aback by this elegant EP it takes the experimentation of
Field Songs and moves 12 steps forward. A number of the tracks
sound like pop songs pasted over sound collages, and the Queens
connection is evident: Many of the songs remind one of the Queens at
their druggy best. The guitars squeal when squealing is called for,
and the industrial backbeat of these tracks sounds like men pounding
on garbage cans. The lyrics are intriguing in "Skeletal
History," Lanegan informs us that "smoke crawls low along the
ceilings and all is quiet, but I keep listening" and they are
sung over gorgeous sing-along melodies that tempt the listener to hum
"Message to Mine" is easily one of the finest songs Lanegan has ever
written, and, curiously enough, "Lexington Slowdown" will send weird
chills down yer crooked spine. The most straightforward song on this
EP is a Captain Beefheart cover, if that gives you any idea of how
adventurous this release is. Dare I say these songs are psychedelic?
Nah, I'll just call 'em what Lanegan calls 'em: Methamphetamine blues.
Here Comes That Weird Chill is a delight. If I could persuade
each and every one of you to abandon yer college radio shows, break
up yer lousy bands and quit mispronouncing Chan Marshall's first name
(it's pronounced Shawn), I'd do just that. But, alas, I am
just a man, so the best I can do to make this world a better place is
to suggest that you start listening to the miraculous music of Mark
Lanegan. You'll be glad you did the right thing for once in yer
miserable little life.