“Grinderman 2” – Grinderman
Nick Caves recent resurgence has been astounding. Since 2007, he has released 3 albums, Grinderman, Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! and now Grinderman 2. All of these album are completely cutting edge and have a fun vibe to them. It’s quite obvious that he and Warren Ellis (of Dirty Three fame) are having some of the most fun times of their life writing together and in the process, they are writing some of their best albums of their respective careers.
For anyone who hasn’t heard Grinderman’s debut, it was an experimental rock album that was jagged around the edges, it was also raw, powerful and really did something that no other band was doing. Grinderman 2 is more pop influenced while still retaining almost all the elements of their debut, and for that reason I think it’s remarkable. Look, I’m not saying this is even remotely close to a pop record, because it definitely isn’t. But it is easier to listen to that the band’s debut.
Grinderman 2 largely starts where it left off. Micky Mouse and The Goodbye Man is a heavy and jagged rock song that that changes tempo numerous times and has a very animalistic edge to it, both lyrically and musically. Lyrics like, “I was Mickey Mouse. He was the Big Bad Wolf!” add to this animal feel, which is not only evident on this song, but also throughout the the whole album.
Now, I can’t write a review without saying something about “Palaces Of Montezuma”. It’s the pop song on the album and almost doesn’t feel like it should be on the album at all. It was written by Nick Cave for his wife and while it’s a really beautiful song, I don’t think it belongs on the album, and because of this, the album just doesn’t hit the heights of the band’s debut. It’s a pretty silly reason for me to say it’s not as good of an album, but when you’re comparing two albums that are near perfect, I think I have the right to be just a little picky.
My favourite track on the album and quite possibly for the year is “When My Baby Comes”. It’s a slow building song that has a vibe and beat which is really unmatched. Clocking in at 6:49, it really is defining and epic track.
Heathen Child is the first single off the album, and while it is nothing remarkable (although it is a very good song), the “super” version which includes a 3 minute Robert Fripp from King Crimson, is. Get the song, it is completely brilliant.
Overall, Grinderman 2 is a remarkable album, and despite a few minor flaws, it is definitely one of the best for the year. Grinderman made a debut that many people believed couldn’t be matched, and largely I think they were right, but with Grinderman 2, Grinderman got extremely close.
Reviewer’s Pick: “When My Baby Comes”
Stand-out Tracks: “Heathen Child”, “When My Baby Comes”, “Evil”