The following are reviews for
the single 'Stay'
(with 'Death Don't Have No Mercy', and 'Slide Machine')
As written in Kerrang! Issue
719 (Oct. 98) Review by Paul Elliott
The Screaming Trees have made some of the most melancholic
music of the post-grunge era, but singer Mark Lanegan turns the misery
up a few notches further on his third solo album, 'Scraps at Midnight',
from which 'Stay' is extracted. Lanegan's voice is as beguiling as it
is baleful, making this an unlikely single, but a great one nonetheless.
The lead track is typical of the current album - acoustic based, slow,
sombre - but the two additional tracks are even better. 'Death Don't
Have No Mercy' is a traditional American folk song full of heavy vibes,
while the frazzled 'Slide Machine' is a weird one borrowed from Texan
drug fiends the 13th Floor Elevators. Sounding like a bourbon-filled
Tom Waits writing for a David Lynch western, Mark Lanegan might just
be the most gifted rock songwriter since Kurt Cobain.
From Hot Press:
MARK LANEGAN : 'Stay' (Beggar's Banquet)
Written with longtime collaborator and former Dinosaur Jr. bassist Mike
Johnson (no bad songwriter himself), this is pretty much what you'd
expect from Lanegan, the lapsed alcoholic poet laureate of Shitsville,
USA. Swinging indolently from a lovingly knotted acoustic noose, 'Stay'
is a mordant but ultimately uplifting ballad. The extra tracks are even
better - the ex-Screaming Trees frontman's husky boot-hill baritone
renders the traditional 'Death Don't Have No Mercy' with the authority
of any octogenarian journeyman, while the version of Powell St.John's
'Slide Machine' is the musical missing link between Slingblade and Dead
from Dublin Event Guide *(is this a good review
or a bad one?? I can't tell!)*
Single of the Fortnight
Stay (Beggars Banquet)
No sooner had I finalised the plans for a shrine to his 'Scraps At Midnight'
album then along comes ol' troubled tonsils and ruins everything with
this single. 'Stay' sees Lanegan travelling down his favourite back
alley of late night laments with his conscience for company. 'Livin'
ain't hard...it just ain't easy,' he rasps in that 240 a day voice and
you'll be too impressed to disagree. When you've recovered from that
soul-stripping, check out his take on the traditional 'Death Don't Have
No Mercy', which is the scariest thing you'll hear this year.
Mark Lanegan, Stay (Beggars Banquet)
Dusty plains, deserted but for a tarmac lifeline and a single wooden
gas station with two pumps, a Coke machine and an ice-box. That's where
we find Mark Lanegan stirring up a Country Americana solemnity to lay
his Tom Waits/Lou Reed songs atop. Backed with a folk song "Death
Don't Have No Mercy" which magnifies his magnificent lungs and
"Slide Machine" by the 13th Floor Elevators which melts some
welcome psyche-blues into the sound.