Nick Cave has been busy as of late. Hot on the heels of a new novel, a critically acclaimed Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Album, the first record from his side project Grinderman, and scoring a handful of movies such as The Road and The Assassination of the well whatever the rest of that title is, Mr. Cave and co released the second Grinderman album, Grinderman 2 yesterday. Of course I already have it and of course I got the deluxe edition. For the other two of you out there that still buy cds, the deluxe edition is totally worth it, even if there are no extra tracks. The packaging kicks ass. You get 64 pages of sketches, lyrics, and liner notes that don't come in the regular edition along with a poster.
In case you're not familiar with the work of Nick Cave, he's an Australian native who has been working in the music business since the early 80s. He got his start fronting The Birthday Party before forming Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, (and now you know that the Johnny Cash version of that song is a cover) whose revolving cast of members has included more people than I can possibly list here. Highlights of that roster would have to include Mick Harvey, Neubauten's Blixa Bargeld, and Warren Ellis, though. He's also written two novels (the first being better than the latest, but both are good), penned the screenplay for the excellent film The Proposition, and scored quite a few other movies as well as lending his voice talent to the short film The Cat Piano. Tired of links yet? Sorry, but the fucker is prolific if nothing else. Thankfully, he is also a god damned genius. I can't say enough positive things about most of his work, although there are a few Bad Seeds albums from the late 90s/ early 2000s I could have lived without. He got into this weird sort of gospel music, ultra-mellow religious thing that I don't get.
Luckily, he's learned to rock again. The last two bad seeds albums set the tone which he continued in the first Grinderman effort and through into an amplifier again for the newest Grinderman. The album is like getting punched in the gut...in a good way. As long as you don't hate rock music, you'll love the album. Grinderman is composed of Long time Bad Seeds Nick Cave, Warren Ellis (not the comic book writer), Warren Casey, and Jim Sclavunos. Warren Ellis' guitar work puts a lot of hack players attempts to stretch the limits of their effects pedals look amateurish at best. The man is a virtuoso on the violin and guitar, although he's actually playing a fendocaster rather than a guitar, which you'll probably see later.
I could try and describe the sound for you, but would no doubt come up short. The closest I can come is imagine Ministry playing blues rock (but not Ministry playing this, because it was fucking awful and far too literal an interpretation of what I was trying to convey). Probably best just to let the music speak for itself.
and because Warren Ellis' fendocaster is the craziest thing ever- so much noise from such a tiny little thing (and the entire band collectively look like Jesus), here's a live clip from the first Grinderman record