When the devil, the Virgin Mary and a gun are to found on the cover of a single then it is a pretty fair assumption that the songs will not fall into the category of bubblegum pop. Then you find Mark Lanegan's name on the back of the sleeve and your suspicions are confirmed.
With our Mr Lanegan's half growled vocals to take us through the gothic splendour of "Kingdoms of Rain", you can't help but wonder if it is raining outside. Not just ordinary rain either but the blackest of rain that follows a thunderstorm and despite the aforementioned rain you know that a walk down redemption road is on the cards. You feel yourself in the presence of a tortured soul and much of the credit for that goes to the atmospheric backing to the song.
Likewise "Jesus of Nothing", on the flipside, is downbeat like a dying man's confessional. The vocals seem almost at odds with the loops playing in the background but those chopped up backing vocals come over like the cries of a lost soul.
Funnily enough, the antiquated 10 inch vinyl format seemed very appropriate for this kind of music much as shellac 78rpm discs seems like the right environment for sold-your-soul-to-the-devil acoustic blues. Uncomfortable but compelling listening.