Mark Lanegan Band: No Bells on Sunday
(Flooded Soil / Vagrant, 7/29/14)
Mark Lanegan’s next solo LP is coming later this fall, but for now our appetites are whet by the excellent No Bells on Sunday. A tour of melancholia and genre, it backs it all up with the undeniable skill of Lanegan himself.
Looking at Lanegan’s catalog and his history in groups such as Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age, listeners have every right to expect the kind of versatility on display here. Tracks like “Dry Iced” and “No Bells on Sunday” play like a 1960s-science-fiction author’s idea of what lounge singers 30 years down the road might sound like, as electronic drums and keys drive with just the right amount of energy, never overpowering Lanegan’s everyman croon. Opposing this is “Jonas Pap,” a drunken paean to an everyday hero, featuring a key change that utterly transforms the feel of the song.
With epic bookends, No Bells on Sunday pushes against the constraints that those two letters, EP, put on a record. This is fully realized music.