Double Your Pleasure
Rollinâ€šÃ„Ã´ just to keep on rollinâ€šÃ„Ã´ / Rollinâ€šÃ„Ã´ just to keep on rollinâ€šÃ„Ã´ / I donâ€šÃ„Ã´t want to leave this heaven so soon. I could not have said it better myself. This is the ending refrain of the clanging drum rocker “Methamphetamine Blues” from Mark Laneganâ€šÃ„Ã´s new album Bubblegum. Staking new claims on Tom Waitsâ€šÃ„Ã´ crown, Lanegan pours soul and lonely-road rock grime into fifteen beautiful tracks.Fresh from leaving his stint with Queens of the Stone Age, Mark returns here with many the Q.O.T.S.A. Palm Desert cast of regulars on hand (Josh Homme, Nick Oliveri, Alain Johannes and Joey Castillo to name a few) as well as having contributions from Greg Dulli, Izzy Stradlin and PJ Harvey. This rotating lineup provides Lanegan with a prime mix of dirty rock, stark soul and streetlight blues. Harveyâ€šÃ„Ã´s contrast on the warm rock of “Hit the City” and the foggy ballad “Come to Me” makes the strongest appearance but by no means work to overpower the namesake of the project.
Lanegan sounds weathered and experienced well beyond his years here. Lines like “Whereâ€šÃ„Ã´s Willie John? / Dead so long / Born to fall, nothing at all” from “Like Little Willie John” sear out of the speakers with an unnerving wail. Thereâ€šÃ„Ã´s something about Laneganâ€šÃ„Ã´s raspy drawl that almost implies endless soul searching from the eery opener “When Your Number Isnâ€šÃ„Ã´t Up” to the thrashing “Driving Death Valley Blues.”
His voice might seem limiting on the surface, but it is used with maximum effectiveness throughout Bubblegum. Each track brims over with a stunning level of diversity and depth; A man of soul and spirit for the new generation.