Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review: Grinderman- Grinderman 2

The idea of Nick Cave making a doom metal album sounds silly, yet here we are with Grinderman. Grinderman is a side project consisting of Cave and the core of the past decade's Bad Seeds lineup minus Mick Harvey and unlike the Bad Seeds, it's heavy as FUUUUCCCKKKK! The first Grinderman album was a much needed can of whomp ass for anyone who thought Cave was losing it at his old age. Even Snoop Dogg admitted to liking "No Pussy Blues". So with one album done and Cave's "Dig Lazarus Dig!!!" album being Grinderman-lite, we get the much needed sequel, and while it's not entirely more of the same, it's still pretty damn awesome.

Album opener "Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man" and first single "Heathen Child" are the expected straight forward "rawk" affairs that you'd come to expect. More than that, the band shows of more a blues style in this album than in the previous one. It's dirtier and grungier and the songs are as heavy as they could possibly be, evoking a Stones "Exile" like blues approach to an already distinct sound for a band. It's a ballsy and admirable move, and of course something that only Nick Cave and Warren Ellis could make work.

There's also no shortage of weird, druggy like tunes on this album too. "When My Baby Comes" is a down tuned affair with the perfect musicianship these middle aged guys should and have been putting together for quite some time now. "Evil" and "Kitchenette" while having a different sound from each other, best showcase Cave's magnetic wordplay with the dirty sound to match the equally dirty lyrical content of both songs. Not that Cave's ever had the friendliest or cleanest of lyrics. He's the dirty uncle writing about things that would make Donald Dagan and Walter Becker say he's a little fucked up.

Like every hard rock band, Grinderman mix in their share of ballads. "What I Know" and "Palaces of Montezuma" aren't traditional ballads in any sense, but it's as soft as the band gets. It doesn't last long, in fact, both songs are among the shortest of the album, leaving more time for ass kicking rock and roll. They're not throw away songs by any reason and if the whole album was as heavy as the rest, you wouldn't be able to stand up afterward.

Nick Cave is on the wrong side of 50, but of course if you've been paying attention, it doesn't matter, nor should you give a damn, because he obviously doesn't. Cave is as creepy and cryptic as he's ever been. The past decade of work is perhaps his best, and even when he's doing a completely different style than what we're used to, he's still knocking it out of the park. Musicians aren't supposed to age this gracefully, considering the amount of drugs this guy has taken. But who are we to complain, the music still rocks and that's all I'll ever ask.

**** 1/2 out of *****

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