Monday, March 12, 2012

Album Review: Screaming Trees – Invisible Lantern

In 1988 the Screaming Trees released their third album, Invisible Lantern.  Opener Ivy immediately sets the tone for the album, it’s muddier, heavier and more unhinged than their previous 2 albums.  A rough and ready, downward spiraling riff is the bedrock for Mark Lanegan to roar his vocals over, and roar he does with a gloriously messy performance.

Walk Through To This Side, is more psychedelic, with jangly, 60s sounding guitars, before following track Lines & Circles kicks up a fine racket with a bludgeoning riff right out of Gary Lee Conner’s book of monster riffs.  After the noise of She Knows and Shadow Song, Grey Diamond Desert slows things down, turning the fuzz down a shade and heightening the doom in Lanegan’s voice.

Some of the rest of the tracks are a little interchangeable, but Even If (presumable held over from 1987’s Even If and Especially When) has a fine gallop and a strong melody.  The album is quite far removed from the band’s 90s material, more like a punky, garage band than the classic rockers they would become.