Mark Lanegan: Here Comes That Weird Chill

Mark Lanegan
Here Comes That Weird Chill
(Beggars Banquet)

Mark Lanegan made his exit from Queens of the Stone Age recently, and that’s too bad. On the other hand, that means he’ll have more time to make his brand of shambling, groovy Waitsian trash n’ roll. Here Comes That Weird Chill is dense, dark and lovable. “Methamphetamine Blues” happens to be one of the finest cuts on the disc, with Lanegan’s steel wool baritone hollowing a path over an insistent deep groove. There is an element to Mark Lanegan’s voice that is easy to hear, but hard to describe. Let’s just say that if you took Bryan Adams, gave him lots of balls, and made him drink whiskey for a week, he would still be nowhere near the startling grace and emotion that informs Lanegan’s vocals every time out. On the Captain Beefheart cover “Clear Spot”, QOTSA’s Josh Homme joins the party with an appropriately angular lead guitar, but they insist on distorting Lanegan’s vocal, a faux pas that occurs a few times on this disc. Hey, the guy’s gritty enough. Let it speak for itself.

That this album was produced by some of the same crew responsible for, among other things, Eleven, QOTSA, and Chris Cornell, should speak of its quality. But Lanegan owns this album. “Wish You Well” sounds like a song Leonard Cohen forgot about, and the dark brooding weirdness that is “On the Steps of the Cathedral” are his crosses alone to bear. We just get all the fun of listening in.