The following are reviews for
Whiskey For The Holy Ghost
first appeared in Entertainment Weekly, January
Mark Lanegan: Whiskey For The Holy Ghost (SubPop)
Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan temporarily ditches
his arboreal pals on this intensely beautiful second solo effort. Lyrics
dense with metaphors of death and drink come to life through Lanegan's
smoky tenor, which howls and billows from the depths of subconsciousness.
Shadoy background voices, wispy violins, and lumbering acoustic guitars
add to the haunting allure. A delightful companion for last call in
first appeared in Spin Magazine, February 1994
Mark Lanegan: Whiskey For The
Holy Ghost (SubPop)
Screaming Trees frontman Mark
Lanegan easily blows away any and all of his Seattle counterparts with
his stunning vox abilities, his raspy, sweet words, tender at times
and deafening at others. Unlike his first solo work, The Winding Sheet,
a pensive, brooding mess, Whiskey is written for Lanegan's voice to
shine, with musical credit going primarily to Dinosaur Jr's Mike Johnson,
who turned in his bass for some stunning guitar work.
first appeared in Billboard Magazine, March 5,
Whiskey For The Holy Ghost
PRODUCERS: Mark Lanegan & Mike Johnson
Sub Pop 132
Screaming Trees front man Lanegan sings like a man worn down on this
set, his second solo outing, but his beautifully low, rich, and rough
voice brings a bit of heaven to this setting of heavy drink and spiritual
searching. Although accompanying guitar melodies occasionally reach
for the "proper" bluesy feel, the songs where are capable
of pulling together with undeniable power. Rock and modern rock radio
should zoom in on "El Sol" and peruse album at leisure for
other worthwhile tracks.
first appeared in Pittsburg Post Gazette, March
WHISKEY FOR THE HOLY GHOST (SUB POP) three and a half stars
Ennui, cigarettes and acoustic guitars usually go together like parts
of a miserable equation. From Son House to Tom Waits, it has been aptly
demonstrated that the keener the musician's sensibilities, the greater
will be the distance from the mainstream.
Not surprisingly, this also means the desolation at the heart of any
given song usually comes within striking distance of overwhelming the
singer if reasonable precautions aren't taken -- ask Diamanda Galas.
Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan has a little more going for him
than most of his alternative brethren, since he possesses one of the
keenest sensibilities and expressive voices around.
''Whiskey for the Holy Ghost'' is an atmospheric masterpiece of brooding,
poetic self-pity, with Lanegan sans Screaming Trees, as the befuddled,
but cynical host who guides us through the alcoholic haze of his life
with these confessional, acoustic-based songs.
Opening with ''The River Rise,'' Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis tries his hand
at drumming, while guitarist Mike Johnson, bassist Kurt Fedora and pianist
Teddy Trewhella go about creating an atmosphere that is both gothic,
seedy and sad. The effect is something totally unexpected.
''Whiskey for the Holy Ghost'' may be petit-existentialism with a capital
''E,'' but it's hard to find fault with it other than the lack of variety
from song to song. Even despair has more than one flavor.
first appeared in Tacoma News Tribune, February
"Whiskey for the Holy Ghost"
- Mark Lanegan (SubPop): When the history of Seattle music is written,
"Whiskey for the Holy Ghost" - the second solo effort by Screaming
Trees leader Mark Lanegan - will deserve more than a footnote. Its elusive,
slowly unfolding songs avoid the Trees' pummeling, sludgey approach,
but come close to the urgency of grunge. It's filled with songs that
brood, and its settings are built around, of all things, acoustic guitar.
But there's no fireside folk possibility here. With tension-building
suspended harmonies and oddly disquieting melodies, Lanegan's mood music
aspires to art-rock grandeur and harrowing, Nick Drake intimacy. Picturesque
scene-setting (such as in "Carnival," which is enriched by
a thrashing violin solo) alternates with more fantasy-oriented image-conjuring,
such as the pensive "Riding the Nightingale." And each of
the songs benefits from Lanegan's burly, full-of-portent vocals, which
convey a sense of struggle and hard-won resolution.