Alternative music reviews

March 16, 2007


Filed under: reviews — @ 11:24 pm Comments (0)

GrindermanI have just about kept up with Nick Cave over the years. I have felt able to miss out a few albums recently. It never used to be that way – I even include Door, Door by The Boys Next Door in my vinyl collection (now that is completist). The other day my sister sent me an album by Grinderman, Nick Cave’s latest project so I gave it a listen, expecting something interesting but not sensational.

It begins with Get It On (no, not the famous one) and Nick’s voice shouting down the cellar: ‘kick those black dogs and baboons out’. And then it starts – a noise so distorted it could be either a guitar or organ but it is low down and dirty and that is all that matters. What I am hearing is Nick Cave in a band again, more Birthday Party than Bad Seeds. These are not songs written by a man in his artistic solitude but instead music forged in the claustrophobia of a small studio when given some electric instruments and a few ideas to try out. No Pussy Blues is a simple blues song about a girl that just says no. It’s funny and breaks out into some of the most beautiful wah wah distorted guitar since Ron Ashton first met Iggy Pop – except it is louder and has more feedback than even the great Ron.

This is a great album and the best thing Mr Nick Cave has done for many years. It has an immediacy and earthiness his other (often magnificent) work doesn’t have. During the final track Nick even mentions what he has been listening to on the radio: Gardeners Question Time and Woman’s Hour! I am also very impressed when he uses the riff from Nomad 67’s Art of Individuality during the song Honey Bee – I know he will not have heard of the Nomad boys but it says something that he has returned to that level of enthusiasm and love of noise.

It’s a simple reminder of the primal power of Rock and Roll. Is that a wanking monkey on the cover? I hope so.


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