The driving rhythm of Mark Lanegan’s latest, “Nocturne,” mixes Joy Division’s bleak reverberated guitars with Tom Waits’ ancient growl and injects it with a shot of manic energy. Lanegan, of Screaming Trees fame, strains his gruff, choked voice against a laidback country-tinged Americana, conjuring the boundless Midwest but also the modernity of Trentemøller’s recent explorations. This is “The Killing Season” taken one step further: a touch darker, a bit faster. Wailing guitars compete with anxious, staccato synth notes, all twisting around a vocalist who’s witnessed too damn much in his life.
Much of Lanegan’s work exhibits a restrained, downtempo simmer. With “Nocturne,” the pot boils, priming our pulses. No doubt this cinematic track will grace an upcoming HBO or Showtime show soon: one filled with dirt-spackled men, callous women, the open highway, some blood, a gun or two, and a whole lot of night.