Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
finds Nick Cave back at the helm of his long-term band The Bad Seeds after some impressive soundtrack work--2005's The Assassination of Jesse James
--and a busman's holiday in the raw, rocking Grinderman. As the title suggests, Lazarus
finds Cave returning to familiar themes of God and redemption, although some of the raw poise and wild-eyed humour that resurfaced in Grinderman
remains: take the opening title track, which retells the Biblical story of the resurrection of Lazarus as transposed onto the sleazy, poverty-stricken backdrop of modern-day New York City. Musically, the likes of "Moonland" and "Night of the Lotus Eaters" have a swampy feel, all skittering drums, simmering bass and smoky organ riffs; elsewhere, there are rockers that tie on dissonant guitars without losing their dissonant touch ("Lie Down Here"). Probably the album highlight comes with "We Call Upon the Author", a sprawling, "Sister Ray"-like chugger that shows off Cave's skill for magnificent, sung-shouted narratives: "Now mixamatoid kids roam the streets, we've shunned them from the greasy grind/The poor little things, they look so sad and old as they mount us from behind". --Louis Pattison