Grinderman Grinderman Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

It'll make the room rattle and moan and the stairs fall down.

P J Lucas 2007

This album is a 6 Music album of the day

I read somewhere a couple of years ago that Nick Cave dyes his hair, which is kind of cool 'cause he's a rock statesman cowboy murder legend and you need a slick barnet to carry that stuff off. But this guy is now rocking a natty black 'tache that looks like a fat vampire slug creeping around his mouth. Is that a dye job too? Can you trust a fifty year-old dude who dyes his moustache? Either way it looks damn cool, matching this fine album.

Grinderman is a bareknuckle version of the Bad Seeds, with Cave playing electric guitar. Well, I say 'playing'; it sounds more like he's strangling it. Who knew Cave was such a sweet player? Sometimes his licks have a shade of Marc Ribot or Andy Gill - they're cruel and wiry - like a vicious little stoat attacking your kittens.

Cave kicks off the set shouting some splendid nonsense about 'going down to the basement and kicking out all the white mice and the baboons', and then the band start up some skin-blistering noise and they all yell about "getting it on". The cumulative effect is that you can immediately picture yourself at their live show, elbowing like a kickboxer to the front row, all smashed on spiked cider and getting arrested by the end of the first tune. This, friends, is some heavy wailing terror-blues, spat out and stitched up in a corset of righteous pain. It'll make the room rattle and moan and the stairs fall down.

Next up is the first single (and hands down best track) ''No Pussy Blues'', a fierce dirge about getting no loving from some frigid Chihuahua-toting starlet - despite Cave's best entreaties: 'I read her Eliot, I read her Yeats, I tried my best to stay up late, I fixed the hinges on her gate, but still she said she didn't want to. Damn!'.

From then on you get more rabid, hunchback crunch (''Depth Charge Ethel'') a bit of pleasant filler (''Man In The Moon'') and some Lyre Of Orpheus cast-offs (''Go Tell The Women''), but as everyone knows, even on the rare occasions when the Bad Seeds are punching below their weight they still bust your nose across your face like their fists are bricks dipped in gravel and glue. Cave can do no wrong…

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