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Mark Lanegan Band Gargoyle (April 28, 2017)

Mark Lanegan Band — Gargoyle (April 28, 2017)

♠   Gargoyle is as confident and assured as anything Lanegan has released. It stands up alongside his best work and pushes his method in a few new directions, without trying to break from the paradigm. It’s no crossover work that’ll likely garner him new fans, but it finds him cemented in his legacy.                                                                                   Born: 25 November 1964 in Ellensburg, WA
Location: Ellensburg, Washington, U.S.
Album release: April 28, 2017
Record Label: Heavenly / Pias America
Duration:     41:18
01 Deaths Head Tattoo     4:21
02 Nocturne     4:23
03 Blue Blue Sea     3:24
04 Beehive     3:49
05 Sister     5:04
06 Emperor     3:37
07 Goodbye To Beauty     3:16
08 Drunk On Destruction     3:25
09 First Day Of Winter     3:28
10 Old Swan     6:31
Written by:
¬   Alain Johannes / Mark Lanegan / Rob Marshall     1
¬   Mark Lanegan / Rob Marshall     2, 4, 7, 8, 10
¬   Alain Johannes / Mark Lanegan     3, 5, 6, 9
¬   Shelley Brien Vocals (Background)
¬   Greg Dulli Guitar (Acoustic), Moog Synthesizer, Vocals (Background)
¬   Duke Garwood Guitar, Horn
¬   Jean~Philippe De Gheest Drums
¬   Joshua Homme Vocals
¬   Jack Irons Drums
¬   Frederic Lyenne Jacques Bass
¬   Alain Johannes Bass, Composer, Drum Programming, Electric Organ, Engineer, Guitar, Guitar (Tremolo), Hammond B3, Harmonium, Harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog Synthesizer, Percussion, Producer, Prophet 5, Shaman Drum, Vocals (Background)
¬   Mark Lanegan Composer
¬   Martyn Lenoble Bass
¬   Emily Mackey Artwork
¬   Rob Marshall Additional Production, Bass, Composer, Drum Loop, Drum Programming, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Horn, Piano, Programming, Synthesizer
¬   Aldo Struyf ARP Synthesizer, Percussion, Piano
♠   Critical acclaim for Phantom Radio, the previous album from Mark Lanegan Band, released late 2014:
♠   “Lanegan deserves elevation to the front rank of rock artists and Phantom Radio may be the album to finally force that shift.” — The Independent — 5 Stars ***** (Album Of The Week)
♠   “A brave inspired step into the unknown.” — MOJO — 4 Stars ****
♠   “Like Lee Hazlewood were performing early~80s New Order.” — Q — 4 Stars ****
♠   “A beautiful set that balances Lanegan’s ongoing love of blues and folk with further explorations of the electronic terrain he explored on 2012’s Blues Funeral.” — Uncut — 8/10
♠   “A graceful record that brings out the very best in the gruff veteran.” — NME — 8/10
♠   “A career highlight… The Superb ‘Floor Of The Ocean’ could be the Sisters Of Mercy covering Joy Division, while ‘Torn Red Heart’ might be the most beautiful love song Lanegan has ever recorded.” — The Guardian — 4 Stars ****
♠   “Phantom Radio proves that there’s not just mileage left in him still, but that he’s going to lead us to many more places yet.” — DIY — 4 Stars ****
♠   “These songs are compelling, bleak, bruising and brilliantly realised… A compelling return.” — The Sun — 4 Stars ****
♠   “Phantom Radio builds on the electro leanings of 2012’s Blues Funeral, taking us back to the gloomier bits of the 1980s, with the transitional Joy Division/New Order a reference point.” — The Sunday Times (Album Of The Week)
♠   “His voice, if anything, is getting better with age — grittier by the year and more soulful… There’s no faking this kind of quality.” — Classic Rock — 8/10
♠   “Rich in blood, sweat and atmospherics… With no sign of any creative let~up as he approaches his 50th birthday, its time to tune in and feel the spirit.” — The Mirror — 4 Stars ****
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming  |  Score: ****
♠   Gargoyle, Mark Lanegan’s fourth album under the moniker the Mark Lanegan Band, opens with a song called “Death’s Head Tattoo,” and given the singer’s chronically gloomy outlook on the world around him, that title sounds like it could be the height of cliche in Lanegan’s hands. But thanks to his intelligence as a songwriter and his gifts as a vocalist, even under the worst circumstances Lanegan would deliver something worth hearing, and “Death’s Head Tattoo” turns out to be more perceptive than one might have feared.
♠   Similarly, Gargoyle turns out to be more a more satisfying listen than the previous Mark Lanegan Band albums. In addition to his usual collaborator, producer and multi~instrumentalist Alain Johannes, most of the tracks also feature guitars, bass, and other instruments from Rob Marshall, guitarist with the band Exit Calm. Having Marshall on board has given most of these tracks a welcome dose of muscle and rock action, and if electronics still dominate the sonic horizons of Gargoyle, the results feel more organic, and Lanegan appears to be more invested in this material.
♠   “Beehive” is a testimony to the pleasures and perils of addiction, “Emperor” is a meditation on loneliness that could have been an outtake from Iggy Pop’s Post Pop Depression (and features guest vocals from Iggy and Mark’s mutual friend Josh Homme), “Drunk on Destruction” is a powerful fusion of six~string howl and drum loops, and “Old Swan” brings the album to a suitably epochal conclusion. Lanegan’s vocals are in fine form throughout; quieter numbers such as “Sister” and “First Day of Winter” allow him to deliver more nuanced performances that show how well he makes use of the nooks and crannies of his instrument, and the album’s best rockers are full of liberating power.
♠   On first glance, Gargoyle doesn’t feel like an album full of surprises, but after the second or third spin, the fuller and bolder sound of the arrangements and production becomes clear, and it all serves Lanegan’s talents in a way his last few Mark Lanegan Band albums have not.
Dave Simpson  |  Thursday 27 April 2017 22.00 BST  |  Score: ****
Mark Lanegan Band: Gargoyle review — mournful grandeur with hints of black humour.
♠   Gargoyle delves deeper into the former Screaming Trees vocalist’s interest in the English gothic electro~rock of the 1980s, which also fired 2012’s Blues Funeral and 2014’s Phantom Radio. Many of the songs were co~written with Yorkshireman Rob Marshall, and songs such as Nocturne deliver mournful Joy Division bass lines, Echo and the Bunnymen guitar grandeur and Sisters of Mercy~style electro thud. The plangent Goodbye to Beauty could even have sat neatly on U2’s The Joshua Tree, had it been sung by Bono rather than a former heroin addict with a gravelly, dustbowl baritone. Lanegan’s inimitable grumble puts his own distinctive stamp on songs about loneliness and inner demons. It’s dark, but there is a hint of black humour in lines such as: “Everywhere I look it’s a bummer.” The glorious, Bunnymen~esque Beehive uses honey as a metaphor for love, but could equally be a paean to the narcotic effects of the gooey stuff. Bleak or bleakly funny, Lanegan is in the form of his career.
♠   https://www.theguardian.com/
BY COLE WATERMAN  |  27 April 2017  |  SCORE: 8
♠   http://www.popmatters.com/review/mark-lanegan-band-gargoyle/
Website: http://marklanegan.com/gargoyle/
By Jeff Leven  |  April 25, 2017  |  12:14pm  |  Score: 7.4
♠   https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/04/mark-lanegan-band-gargoyle-review.html


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