Monday, March 12, 2007


File this under testosterone.

Nick Cave has had a long creative affair with the primeval, the base instincts of man. He is a primate's primate, and his music projects the depths he channels. Wit Lyre of Orpheus/Abbatoir Blues, he's nearly perfected the art of bringing forth the animus, and his latest project, Grinderman, kicks it up a notch, and grabs hold of those dark corners of the mind with rusty grappling hooks and yanks them into clear view.

It all starts with Nick Cave calls "a lament for the messianic rock 'n roll hero," the startler Get It On, "a statement of intent" that conjures images of mice, dogs, baboons, and an primitive, unrefined animal born of the primordial ooze of early blues. Cave's guitar appropriately grinds and howls throughout.

The ubiquitous No Pussy Blues follows, beginning, like its predecessor, with a stream of consciousness presented as an announcement, delivered like a preacher: "My face is finished. My body's gone and I can't help but think standing here in all this applause and gazing down at all the young and the beautiful with their questioning eyes that I must above all things love myself, that I must above all things love myself..."

Electric Alice (mp3) slows it down for a moment, but the song is still in the wilderness. A nod to the improvisational wonder Alice Coltrane and to Larry Young, the song wanders and veers, a semiconscious dreamscape meandering, or a midnight lamentation, or maybe both.

Fast forward to Honey Bee (Let's Fly To Mars)(mp3), which Cave describes as "Joseph and Mary's flight into Egypt, but you know, reworked." Listen to the guitars wail as Cave buzzes with stinging fury, the narrator begging them to carry him away, "literally repulsed into orbit by the banal horror of the world..."

Others have posted Love Bomb, because it's certified badass, propelled by demonic rage. Or something similar.

Own Grinderman by clicking on the link to the right under "The Smudge Recommends."

No comments: