A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick


Duke Garwood

Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood: With Animals

Article originally appeared on The Music Aug 21st 2018

Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood have circled each other for over a decade, with Garwood’s guitar strung across both Gargoyle and Blues Funeral, yet, this is only their second double billed album.

Following on from the five-year-old, Black Pudding, the pair have created something a little lighter on the palate, let’s say white souffle by way of the bayou, but that doesn’t betray its density.

For fans of their equally extended careers, there’ll be some retread, though it’s less like local streets and more akin to visiting cemetery kin. The new ground covered is fresh and dirty as turned earth.

Inherently touching and darkly familiar, With Animals dulcet batch of misery is a slow-motion gut punch — the sort of thing that might slip out of a whiskey bottle onto a dusty old porch, staining a permanent lineament. There is so much gravel washed sadness you’d be forgiven for missing the slight social commentaries embedded in Lanegan’s lyrics. The title track’s knife-like chorus, “Girl, you are a murderer,” serves as an ode to meat consumption and also a wonderfully anti-romantic diatribe — combined with Garwood’s cutting compositions, their songs have a tendency to stick in your soul.

Duke Garwood: Garden Of Ashes

Article originally appeared on The Music Jan 27th 2017

If you hold Duke Garwood up to the light, all you might see is the silhouette of some gothic country contemporaries. It’s easy to pick out those influences, but much harder to dig up the true meaning in his work. Whether celebratory or inflammatory, there’s a not-quite-resigned passivity there, almost nonchalance, and it can make you wish he were more chaotic and melancholic. Although full of sumptuous imagery and crafty instrumentation, Garden Of Ashes is slightly too delicate, too ‘take me as you will’, and Garwood’s crushed sandstone intonations often leave much of the emotion just out of reach.

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