Grinderman – [Album]

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

After starting strong and hard three years ago with their self-titled debut, Grinderman discovered to their surprise that they had a sizable audience hungry for the dark, lecherous blues they were peddling. At the time, the response to the band far exceeded expectation because, to be perfectly honest, there was no expectation at all; the band slapped the songs together and recorded them warts (and stream of debauchery lyric sheets) and all to blow off steam, but listeners lined up to get behind it. Now, three years later, eyes are on the band as they release their follow-up – an attention that Grinderman has answered by redoubling their efforts for their sequel.

In listening to Grinderman 2, it quickly becomes apparent that primary writers Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have no desire to orchestrate any significant changes to their band's sound or style, but they've tightened up the songs and focused them on the blues-by-way-of-a-mental institution sound that won audiences on select tracks the first time around.

Grinderman only slightly indulges in a methodical re-emergence as the horizons of Grinderman 2 get set by “Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man.” There's an eerie calm and clear sky present in the opening seconds of the record that immediately turns troubled and tempestuous when Cave re-introduces himself with the words, “I woke up this morning/I thought, what am I doing here?”

Those words are presented innocuously enough, but there's trepidation in Cave's voice and the punctuating squeals of Ellis' violin as well as the guitars and drums supplied by Martyn Casey and Jim Sclaunos imply some potent and pending doom and terror.

“And he sucked her and he sucked her and he sucked her dry….”

…And then the whole thing explodes into flame.

From the very beginning of Grinderman 2, Cave and the band hit listeners with some potent hallucinogenic blues in “Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man” and it truly is the finest kind – the kind that fans who caught the fever on the band's debut will lap up greedily and those unfamiliar with this damned party will be drawn to like moths to a flame. It is the sound of a beautiful catastrophe from which no one will be able to turn away – and the plot only gets deeper in the eight songs that follow it.

After “Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man” sets the infernal stage upon which the record will play out, Grinderman doesn't let the energy dip at any time for some contrived effect, in fact they actually get more manic as “Worm Tamer,” “Heathen Child,” “Evil” and Bellringer Blues” (as well as all the songs in between) set ears and minds on fire. With each successive song, the band's spell further cements itself in listeners. Cave holds court over the procession and provides a monologue that's both sinister and shockingly urbane in its' delivery, while the band revels in a very tidy permutation of desperate squalor that sees unhinged cacophony hold as much sway over each song's dramatic turns as untarnished composition has and the results are as gorgeous as they are ugly and disconcerting. On its' sophomore album, Grinderman proves that the basic elements which have always been said to control rock n' roll – hellfire, brimstone, damnation, evil, darkness and the devil – can still make for one hell of a good time. Grinderman 2 is just phenomenal.



Grinderman 2 is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

Comments are closed.