19 December 2012
Grinderman - Grinderman 2
I know, I know - I really should learn to review these albums in some sort of order. Never really been my style, so please forgive me this self-indulgence. Formed in London, this is the side project of Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Jim Sclavunous & Martyn P. Casey who are all members of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. The first album was made for songs that no longer fitted the sound of their main band. After the success of the first album, they came back with this album.
Now when looking at a Grinderman album it is very hard not to compare it to the "Day Job" so to speak. Whilst it is certainly more feral than latter day NC&BS albums it is not that far removed from some of Mr Cave's early work. One of my friends made the bold claim upon first hearing this album (and the first one as well) "Never has a mid-life crisis sounded so good. I'm actually hard pushed to disagree with that statement to be honest. It is a revisit to someones angry youth in someway, but with the added joy of hindsight.
Opening with the busting at the seems "Mickey Mouse & The Goodbye Man" and "Worm Tamer" it would seem as if the album is going to follow the end of the original album and be even more angry. It was as if Mr Cave threw his type writer out of the window shouting "Fuck all these ballads, I want my guitar back!" and started to stomp, but then just like the original it shows that the beast also has a subtle side. Songs like "When My Baby Comes" and "What I Know" are stunning pieces of work with heart moving lyrics. Also the ending track "Bellringer Blues" sounds like it is being played at a tavern near the end of days.
The only real complaint I have about this is that it seems to be over too soon. It is not the shortest album ever, at 41 minutes it is not the shortest album I have ever reviewed either. It just seems to leave too early, but maybe that is the way it should be. Leave the party wanting more before they turn on you.
For 9 tracks Grinderman show that they were a real band, not just a side show. You may have noticed the word "were". At present they are on hold for a new NC&BS album which is coming next year. Part of me is a little sad about that, as this album (and the first one) showed me that Cave & some of his merry men can be angry still, can also write a heart felt ballad and can be everything to all people. If you like NC&BS, chances are you would have at least checked this album out. If not, I compel you to listen/purchase the best mid-life crisis ever. At least it's not a sports car and a wig, it is a man going down swinging before heading home.
8.5 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart
You can purchase from here
You can also listen to it on Spotify here
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