The latest effort by Mark Lanegan sees the performer partner up with Duke Garwood, with their release ‘Black Pudding’. The latest album sees Lanegan indulging in a more blues style of music, different from the acoustic style of Lanegan & Isobel Campbell, or the dark alternative rock style of The Gutter Twins. ‘Black Pudding’ is simply an interesting album that seems to suck the listener in with the acoustic-blues style, much of which is dominated by Lanegans hazy vocals that he has become so well known for in his career. It is perhaps one of Lanegan’s most interesting projects so far in his career, and is certainly one of the most interesting sounding, with Garwood’s musical style accompanying Lanegan’s vocals brilliantly.
On ‘Black Pudding’, there is an interesting balance between Langegan’s vocals, and Garwood’s wonderful instrumentals. The album opens and closes with instrumental tracks by Garwood, giving the musician a chance to show off his own talents. Lanegan on the other hand seems to just let his vocals sit in comfortably with Garwood’s instrumentals, with both forming a close-bond in the tracks that both form the foreground of the songs. There’s at times, other instrumentation that helps to bring out more in the songs, giving the whole album a brilliant character. It is arguably some of Lanegan’s best work since The Gutter Twins, which saw Lanegan partner up with Afghan Whigs’ front-man Greg Dulli. It seems most of Lanegan’s work is based on partnerships with other singers and musicians, and about striking a balance between the two. His latest effort with Garwood is a perfect example, and one that has worked incredibly well.
There’s not many problems with ‘Black Pudding’ as an album. Most of Langegan and Garwood’s efforts have worked incredibly well, with the two creating an incredible creative force that sounds brilliant. Lanegan’s vocals in particular seem to sound better than they have ever done on this record, which adds an incredibly interesting slant on the performer. The only problem I kind of see with the album is that the album slightly overstay’s its welcome as it progresses. By the time the album has reached the middle, it seems to reveal a few tracks that are just slightly weaker than previous tracks on the album. Thankfully, the album ends on a brilliant note, and brings everything back into play after the middle section. However, it does feel as though there is some weaker material on the album, which is a shame considering how strong some of the material on the album is.
I feel though that ‘Black Pudding’ is one of Lanegan’s best works to date, and is arguably one of the best albums in his career. It seems there’s no end to who Lanegan is willing to partner up with for collaborative efforts, but everything seems to pay off, as Garwood adds a wonderful layer to the music that is as appealing as Lanegan himself. The two musicians seem to strike a brilliant balance on the album, and have produced a wonderful record that is dark in places, but is simply highly enjoyable and incredibly indulgent. It is a surprising record that seems to have gone around unnoticed though, but one that is highly rewarding when listened to.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Last Rung
- Death Rides A White Horse
- Cold Molly
Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood’s collaborative album ‘Black Pudding’ is out now, and can be purchased on Itunes.