Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood
Black Pudding


3.5
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
May 14th, 2013 | 16 replies | 2,739 views


Release Date: 05/13/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dark Mark goes western.

A more lo-fi affair, much like multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood's own Dreamboatsafari or Mark Lanegan's latest EP, Dark Mark Does Christmas, Black Pudding sounds like a soundtrack to an old western movie. The dry, nostalgic guitar leads, ranging from slow, acoustic picked leads to more experimental feedback-laden ones, showcase Garwood's knack for vintage, haunting blues. His technique is the perfect match for Lanegan's deep, grim croon. The few electronic touches complementing the bare-bones production, consist of a drum machine and bass on a couple of tracks and some subdued synths here and there.

Black Pudding's charm sits in its' simplicity and all the songs from the title track opener to "Shade Of The Sun" are connected both in sound and theme. "Black Pudding" sounds like an avid western movie theme, with fast, flamenco-tinged picking, giving way to the stark, uneasy "Pentecostal". Mark's reverbed vocals add to the overall rather ghastly tone, giving a true nihilistic feel. Same goes for the slow burner "Death Rides A White Horse" and the most unsettling song "Thank You", which is accompanied by dissonant bowed electric guitar with some feedback and high-pitched piano leads.

"Mescalito" and "Cold Molly" are the only two, more developed tracks on the record, assisted by drums and linear bass lines. However, they allow Garwood to roam, churning lots of licks and some eerie background noises. It's a nice change of pattern, even though they don't really differentiate themselves from the rest. Another highlight, "Shade Of The Sun", brings the imaginary soundtrack to a close on a more emotional note. Mark's soulful delivery and the depressing atmosphere give the song a requiem-like feel. The instrumental closer, "Manchester Special", ends this journey with some beautiful acoustic guitar picking, much like "Black Pudding" started it, despite its title lacking a connection with the rest of the album.

Unfortunately, the material here is missing an expansive side to compensate for the simplistic approach. Anyone can observe where the two aim at with Black Pudding, but it's hard not to expect more from both parties. Lanegan's last year release, Blues Funeral, had a more complex production supporting his voice, so parts of it could've been introduced here too. Garwood, on the other hand, chose to sit in his comfort zone for the most part. At the same time, the record might have lost his charm if more people were involved in the creation process, diluting it. Still, a more comprehensive follow-up could put these expectations to rest. For now, Black Pudding is an interesting, sometimes thrilling affair, that any fan of the two artists should check out.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice record, but a bit sketchy.

Black Pudding - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_3qCO3smYg
Shade Of The Sun - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcSLTlsLVY0
Mescalito - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrkpPUvWUl0
Sphinx - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4XBbR0U250
Thank You - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l67kK2Udmwc

Digging: Amplifier - Mystoria

WhiteNoise
May 14th 2013



3110 Comments


Interested in hearing this...

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a cool record, but a bit flat.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3442 Comments


Good review as always. I'll give you some feedback:

A more lo-fi affair, much like multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood's own Dreamboatsafari or Mark Lanegan's latest EP, Dark Mark Does Christmas, Black Pudding sounds like a soundtrack to an old western movie.

Feels just a little long for an opening sentence that should probably be used to lure the reader in. I'd take out everything except the last part and say it's "lo-fi" later.

The dry, nostalgic guitar ranging from slow, acoustic picked leads to more experimental feedback-laden ones, showcase Garwood's knack for vintage, haunting blues.

1. should be "dry, nostalgic guitar...showcases" or "dry, nostalgic guitar leads...showcase"
2. either put a comma after "guitar" or take out the one before "showcase"

The few electronic touches complementing the bare bone production, consist of a drum machine and bass on a couple of tracks and some subdued synths here and there.

1. "bare-bones," not "bare bone"
2. take out the comma

I can't tell whether I like the first paragraph or not. At first it's really really confusing, and I don't think it's very well-structured. But, it's also sparse just like the album you're describing. Maybe think of restructuring for the next time

seem connected both in sound and theme

maybe "are" instead of "seem?"

giving a true nihilistic feel

Not sure if "ghastly" and "nihilistic" mean the same thing.

"Mescalito" and "Cold Molly" are the only two, more developed tracks on the record, assisted by drums and linear bass lines.

take out the comma after "two," and I'd say that you can take out the "more" as well.

churning lots of licks and some eerie background noises.

churning out

Then the instrumental closer, "Manchester Special", ends this journey with some beautiful acoustic guitar picking, much like "Black Pudding" did, despite its' title lacking a connection with the rest of the album.

1. "its", not "its'"
2. You could probably form this sentence a lot better with some editing. I'd say something like taking out the "then" would be helpful.

more next comment

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3442 Comments


missing an expansive side

What does this mean? I honestly have no idea.

Lanegan's last year Blues Funeral had a more complex production supporting his voice, so some of that could've been introduced here too.

1. "Lanegan's release Blues Funeral, out last year," or something
2. I think phrasing of the second half of the sentence could be improved. Maybe "and it would have been nice to see some of that intro'd here as well."

t the same time, the record might have lost his charm if more people were involved in the creation process .

1. there's an extra space at the end
2. It feels incomplete. Adding something at the end of this sentence wouldn't hurt.

Overall really good job. It feels just a tad track-by-track-y to me, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for pointing out the mistakes. I wrote this in a rush today because I have a lot of exams these weeks. I'm embarrassed for having so many mistakes lol.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



10080 Comments


Don't take it personally, Raul. We all have little things about our writing we can improve (I mean, Will has pointed out many things on my reviews I've missed, and I'm a holy staff writer!,) and it's only to help you out. You've always been a great writer, which is why we contributors made an effort to get you promoted.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really appreciate it, but sometimes I hate the fact I can't find some of the bigger mistakes lol. I've read Rudy's Bibio review and it just puts this to shame.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



10080 Comments


Nobody expects that caliber review from you, man. It takes a long time to be able to write in that manner-- you have to set your expectations to a reasonable level. All the best writers on the site had to start somewhere-- psst, look at Downer's first reviews. It's all about practice, but I mean, you already have an incredibly solid list of reviews under your name.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I understand. I have a lot to improve though.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



10080 Comments


Your reviews are very good-- just keep in mind the things that Will has pointed out here, and emphasize what worked well here! And feel free to ask me about anything in the future if you need it

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks a lot man, I appreciate it. :D

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3442 Comments


Echoing what Jacob said. People wouldn't have promoted you if they didn't feel you were a good enough writer, and as he said I have torn some of his reviews to shreds (figuratively). I'm incredibly happy when people do the same to mine, and though right now neither of us are anywhere near as good as Rudy and his Bibio review the feedback helps immensely. Try and leave some on other peoples' reviews, it's really helpful both for them and for you (part of the reason why I like to think I'm pretty good is because I leave so much feedback). I'd pos this if I could, it's a really good review and I'm just being critical because that's the point of being critical ; )

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 15th 2013



3376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I totally understand and I brought Rudy's review to the discussion because Jacob posted it on the Sputnik Contributors page.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 15th 2013



10080 Comments


Haha, I'm glad someone reads their homework assignments!!

Pho3nix
May 28th 2013



44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of the highlights of 2013 so far for sure.



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