Featuring members of the Mark Lanegan Band including Martyn LeNoble (Porno For Pyros) on bass, Black Phoebe play up to their passions for the gloomy rumination of PIL, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Sandwell District, Bauhaus and Joy Division across a perfectly unpredicted suite of Lynchian techno dirges and strung-out songwriting. Like the ‘Downwelling’ LP before it, Black Phoebe’s starkly affected craft is bound to surprise and enthral Lanegan’s legion followers (accumulated thru work with everyone from Screaming Trees to QOTSA) and likely to lend your listening space a ripe sort of LA vibe recalling everything from a fantasy of John Duncan jamming with Vatican Shadow, to the likeminded glumness of fellow husband/wife duo Tara & Mike Connelly’s Clay Rendering.
Scowling opener ’Come To The Shadow King’ epitomises the project’s brooding allure with nearly 9 minutes of driving dance and LeNoble’s skulking bass buried beneath gaunt organ pads, forming a dank bed for the vocals which are placed high in the mix but sink down, down into dread feeling and “bloodstained streets” described in the lyrics. LeNoble’s snaking bass is also a crucial anchor to Lanegan’s more bruised vox in ‘Saturn Rising’, and perfectly underlines Shelley’s sultry delivery in the blacklight darkroom rave feel of ’Shiva Danced Me Down’, before ‘Rising High Water’ carves back to Lanegan’s more typical aesthetic with dusky croon matched by hazy, bluesy organ refrain that beautifully brings the album to rest.
Edition of 300 copies.