Speakers Push Air

December 30, 2007, 2:24 pm
Filed under: 2007 Top 20

Mark Lamarr commented the other day on his end of year round-up show that he didn’t really see the difference between The Bad Seeds and Grinderman, which strikes me as an absurd comment. Much as I love The Bad Seeds, they haven’t been truly ferocious for a long time, and Cave’s apparent intention with Grinderman was to break out of his traditional styles and formats, which mostly involved him forsaking the piano for the guitar and writing with the band. And it has really made a difference – there’s a really vicious and gleeful energy to Grinderman. All the carping about mid life crisis-afflicted males rocking out one last time is negated by Cave’s lyrics explicitly acknowledging this aspect, in a really amusing way (Cave’s always maintained he’s primarily a comic writer of some kind, which hasn’t always been particularly convincing, but comes to the fore here).

I think I must have seen an early Grinderman show, in all but name – a Cave gig at the Victoria Theatre billed as an acoustic show and featuring the Grinderman line-up. It was blistering stuff and not ‘acoustic’ in any MTV Unplugged sense. (I also found myself standing next to Will Self and wondering about the parallels between him and Cave, but that’s another post, if I can ever be bothered – but jovial gargoyles both, surely?), although I don’t recall Cave playing guitar at all.

So anyway – noisy, lecherous, wonderfully dumb in places. The most ‘fun’ Cave album since Murder Ballads.

Grinderman – No Pussy Blues
from the album Grinderman (Mute Records)

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