A couple of months ago the infamous Mr. Brown sent me a copy of The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night and after falling head over heels in love with it I made the bold statement (for May) that it was going to be the best rock album I heard all year. I’m not yet ready to recant, but that statement was made before I discovered that Nick Cave’s Grinderman would be releasing their second album on September 14th.
I may have to recant.
It was a silly statement anyway – fan boy bravado meant to express how absolutely amazing that Besnard Lakes record is. But I remember in 2007, sometime around March or April buying the debut Grinderman album the day it came out, putting on my headphones for a first listen and immediately exclaiming to confused coworkers that ‘This is the best album I’m gonna hear all year!”
The raw and often unnerving potential swimming through the flesh of the songs on Grinderman’s first album is the stuff my musical dreams are made of. I’ve been a Bad Seeds fan for some time but I take them, depending on the ‘era’, with an occasional grain of salt. Albums like From Her to Eternity or Your Funeral… My Trial are amazing junk-fuck masterpieces that show the evolution from drugged out barbed-wire madness of original group The Birthday Party* to the sophisticated time bombs Mr. Cave and the Seeds had become by the time of latter period masterpieces like And No More Shall We Part** or Let Love In. But then there’s The Boatman’s Call or (most of) Nocturama, two albums I don’t really ‘get’ at all. Thing is though, in all the reading I’ve done about or buy Mr. Cave and related artists I tend to chalk up any disappointment or confusion with Bad Seed albums to my own short-sighted, illiteracy not anything to do with Mr. Cave and the boys.
Grinderman was born when Cave began seriously examining the guitar as a sonic instrument and songwriting tool, and his sound lends a particularly jagged and dissonant angle to the overall imagery culled from collaborators Warren Ellis*** (not the comics writer), Jim Sclavunos and Martyn P.Âº Casey, all current Bad Seeds members. The band is far more of a return to the No-Wave-ish approach of The Birthday Party, although their influence has rubbed off on the Seeds lately as well, with Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! bearing a little bit more resemblance to Grinderman than the more recent Bad Seeds stuff (thus starting another ‘era’ in the long-running groups’ hopefully eternal life).
Watch the trailer below and you will get an idea of why I am so goddamn anxious for this album. LONG LIVE NICK CAVE AND HIS COHORTS!!!
* Which technically morphed out of the group The Boys Next Door.
** Probably my personal favorite.
*** Not the comics writer.
Âº Not the douche bag vocalist from Chicago-turned-LA eyeliner rockers the lovehammers. Blag!
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