“Two examples of why experimentation isn’t always cool.”
Here Comes That Weird Chill EP
By Chris Clayton
When we were juniors in college, my friend “Gary” and I ate mushrooms and went to the zoo. Gary felt the magic first and laughed like a happy baby when a tapir (a hoofed mammal with a short, flexible proboscis) shot a stream of pee onto his Nike’s.
However, one only had to glance at Gary’s diabolically dilated tadpole eyes to know that his euphoric happiness would be short-lived. An hour later, Gary had lost his mind and was convinced he was a bear.
“Gary? What’s your name, Gary?” I asked my poor friend.
“BEAR!” Gary yelled while rubbing dirt on his face and stuffing leaves in his mouth. Later that day, when Gary returned to me, he vowed never to eat mushrooms again and promptly cracked open a beer.
Mark Lanegan’s latest solo EP, Here Comes That Weird Chill is equally as disturbing and pathetic as a friend who thinks he’s a bear. The Screaming Trees were a nifty band and I even liked Whiskey For the Holy Ghost (Lanegan’s second solo effort), but his latest effort is “experimental” rock at its yuckiest. “Methamphetamine Blues,” the album opener, is an unoriginal, two-note guitar lick dressed up with grimy distortion, fancy studio filters, and backed by an Aphex Twin hip hop beat that sounds like angry factory workers pounding away on an assembly line. Talk about edgy.
The rest of the album pretty much follows this boring pattern. With “On The Steps Of The Cathedral,” Mr. Lanegan subjects our horrified ears to his best Alan Ginsberg impression, mumbling about how devilish he is and how he wishes he could repent his sins. Peeing tapirs sound exactly 137 times more interesting. The album’s lowest depths of hell moment is a putrid Tom Waits rip-off called “Lexington Slow Down.” I’m pretty sure Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the melodramatic piano melody for Lanegan’s drunk, one-man Broadway show entitled “I Wish I was Tom Waits and I’m Out of Whiskey and Would Love Some Speed.”
If I gave 500 cigarette-smoking monkeys 500 guitars and 500 studios, they could come up with a better album. I’m sorry I’m so bitter, but it’s raining outside and I’m depressed and Mark Lanegan venture into the woods, find some mushrooms, and turn into a bear. Good day. – (3/10)