Friday, November 7, 2008

This Friday: Grinderman, 'Love Bomb'

In the decade prior to the release of the Grinderman album the music world had seen Nick Cave take the Bad Seeds on a major stylistic departure from their earlier raw sound. Starting with ‘The Boatman's Call’ in 1997 the seeds moved towards an intimate sound with Cave's solo voice accompanied by piano or a few other delicate instruments.

The intervening years had seen several acclaimed releases following the in same muted vein, but following a heavy touring schedule in 2005 Cave started to write on guitar, an instrument he had previously shown little interest in. His rudimentary riffing gave the new material a taste of unrefined energy which summoned up the ghosts of his early post-punk work with ‘The Birthday Party’.

Cave then made the decision to release the fruit of these sessions as a side project, Grinderman, consisting of several Seeds including his soundtrack composing partner Warren Ellis. Shedding the Bad Seeds tag, the participants were liberated from the shackles of expectation, which shows in spontaneity of the music, the sound of middle aged men behaving disgracefully and loving every minute of the illicit noise.

The final track on the album ‘Love Bomb’ is a sweltering gem, and features all the best elements found on the album, Cave’s guitar recorded upfront and jeering backed by a gutter rhythm and swells of awkward screeching feedback. Polished this is not.

Cave has recently said the next Grinderman album will feature a completely new direction, which proves that he is never one to dwell to long on any one subject, his busy mind dragging us to new places.

Where to find: Grinderman (2007)

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