I am of the opinion that everything this man touches turns to gold. Once a member of the now no-more Screaming Trees who were one of the most underrated Seattle bands around (certainly the most soulful), Mark then advanced his career via his solo records and made music on a scale that the Trees always tried to reach (my opinion of course). After the Bluesy/Folky mainly acoustic solo outings Mark became a member of Queens of the Stone Age and added that extra dimension to an already good rock band.
So, here....now....in 2003....Mark finds himself releasing an EP length collection of songs as a taster for the upcoming 'Bubblegum' record. The first thing that is apparent is the instrumentation on the record, the opening track breaks out with a clanky industrial vibe followed by a slightly distorted voice (and what a voice) closely followed by a second track that could almost be spoken word if not for the fact that a separate recording of Marks voice lulls in the background going along to the old hymn 'He's Got The Whole World In His Hand' and a nice guitar rhythm.
The rest of the record offers a selection of tracks with either industrial beats and/or sleazy guitar rhythms. The songs are not instantly accessible, but if you want 'pop' then you wouldn't be reading this review in the first place. Nevertheless, the songs were implanted in my mind after the second play of the disc and i keep coming back to it.
Like all good artist's Mark has realised he needs to change direction in order to keep afloat and like all good artist's he has done it with style. At the price it is selling for I recommend you pick up a copy and experience well written, well played, diverse and challenging music and if you like it you might want to try the pick of his solo material: I'll Take Care Of You and Scraps At Midnight (again, my opinion).
A Victory For Music!
Also, the track "Lexington Slowdown"....................a beautiful 'haunted piano' gem of a song!