This project is a collaboration between Make Lanegan from Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Sweet Apples, Twilight Singers, his own solo stuff, and many more guest appearances that you can count on two hands. He’s the Dark Mark in this endeavor. Who else would he be, I mean seriously? The Skelton Joe in this battle is Joe Cardamone formerly of The Icarus Line. 

Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe will release a full-length album in the fall, but until then you can hear the limited edition 12” vinyl single, “Dark Mark Theme” (b/w “Skeleton Joe Manifesto” which will be available only on vinyl and not on streaming services) which was released on June 11, 2021 via Rare Bird / Kitten Robot Records.

Dark Mark vs Skeleton Joe


At first knowing both men’s backgrounds, and how different each one is, I had no idea how this would sound or even work. Although, after hearing this single, this record is the next step in Lanegan’s long recording career. This is the next logical stage after last year’s Straight Songs of Sorrow which had an electronica feel to it. This new recorded has the same fell, but has an even more dark vibe to it, if you can believe that. If anything, it’s a departure for Cardamone. Whose own music is more visceral. 

As Lanegan puts it: 

“The fact that it’s not like anything either one of us have done before is what makes this so interesting for me. When you have done as much stuff as Joe and I, you have to constantly search for the different and challenging to keep yourself engaged.”

Cardamone adds, “I just wanted to make some instrumentals that I thought Mark’s voice would shine on, something hard with space for Mark to let go.”  

Try to imagine a John Carpenter theme with Lanegan’s haunting vocals added for extra measure. It’s a recipe for greatness. The first single is so atmospheric that it’ll send goose bumps running up and down your arms and having the hairs on your neck stand straight up. 

Lanegan’s voice (as usual) hits the mark (no pun intended) on this one, with his dark husky drawl, and the music draws the listener into the abyss and wraps you like the dark of night, even if listened to during the hot, sunny summertime. 

And while this would be a great time for this record to come out; fall is not that far off. But don’t blame the band. 

Lanegan explains that, “We were originally intending to release it earlier, but, with the pandemic, and other things going on in the world, it just hasn’t seemed appropriate. Now, we both feel more comfortable creeping some of this material into the open, and these two tracks are just a teaser for what’s to come with the full length.”

“There is an entire full-length Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe record in the can that we’re finalizing now,” replies Cardomone. “Some little touches here and there still, but all in all we got a record on the way.“

Like I said, fall isn’t that far off. 


Here’s the info to order the single. Just in case you missed it, it’s only available on a physical copy. No Streams – ORDER HERE



Article: Carmine Basilicata



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