Phantom Radio - Rolling Stone
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Phantom Radio

Alt-rock vet makes a grimly beautiful record on his phone

Mark Lanegan

EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 04: Mark Lanegan performs on stage at Queens Hall on November 4, 2013 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images)

Ross Gilmore/Redferns

Since his days fronting grunge-era rockers Screaming Trees, baritone growler Mark Lanegan has pursued a raw, doomy primitivism. This is a 21st-century version of the same: Phantom Radio was recorded using an iPhone drum-machine app called FunkBox, and it sounds like a solitary dance party in a serial killer's backwoods shed. "Smelling the incense of/The perfume of your blood," Lanegan rumbles over a trip-hop beat on "The Killing Season." As creepy as this can be, there's also a grim beauty; on "Torn Red Heart," Lanegan sings about heartbreak and salvation and stakes his claim as the Leonard Cohen of the alt-rock moaners. 

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