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4.3 out of 5 stars41
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Knocks around with the swagger a revved up, revived Stooges should have mustered and blasted. Instead they nosedived into a non weird world of tack with their last album. They play the oldies with their hearts on their sleeves but the Ig cannot deliver the new.

This kicks into Troggs/Stooges riffing after a quiet interlude allowing Nick to drip his colloquial non tender sexualised lullabyes of an excess all areas middle youth libido. Why "grow" anywhere if you do not want or need to?

Like Andre Williams many shaded output this lays down a marker for a continuation of not being bothered by neighbours or "settling" down into mowing lawns, developing bog standard views and getting red in the face about young people's antics. Life unfolds in fragments why waste energy?

Song lyrics primarily mustering the chemicalia for ushering the untamed feminine to transform herself from domestic slave to pagan ubermensch. The woman who leaves the dishes in the sink, consuming her existence rather than things, blasting into another cosmos other than Laura Ashley's flowers, a head buried agape in Heat photoshop or bouncing along to Horse and Hounds. The third song in particular opines for call and response of sombre psycho delica ushering in this form of feminima, conjurng the Heathen Child, a new form of being, beyond good and bile.

"Is there anyone out there wasted their lives? On booze drugs husbands wives and making money?"

Nothing ironic about this. Marketed by Mute as four men strutting their stuff, this cocks an extended leg against the tree of life offering a political yellow stream into the darkened wood. Cave delivers an existential right hook to self medication to fend off reality. A bugle call for stripping and skinky dipping in the worlds of Bacchus, savouring moments of excess, instead of obliterating the current senses.

"What I know" wheels out adolescent and adult dreams of heroics, putting life on hold for the big event, believing something noble will unfold, whilst sexual release, the combination of molten bodies in ecstasy are the only reality that pants a picture.

The themes reflect the long gaze backwards from middle to the dreams of youth, detailing inhabition of other worlds. Palace of Montezuma is a Bad Seeds song; the lyrics replete with delicious offerings the softer musical tones fail to segue.

Bellringer Blues returns to pagan jumps of untamed joy sliced with Stooges psyche guitar drift, less punk, more Coltrane abstract, they deliver salvation in this world not the next.

Don't believe the hype, this is not four men with beards letting their hair down, making musicale trite. It's four middle youth men, with artistic space to explore and communicate "Is that all there is?"

Live, two nights over the Elephant and Hammersmith this album roared into life driven by the sweat and passion of Cave and Ellis whilst the bass and drums kept it all in a semblance of order, the two maniacs delivered a blast into magma.

Instead of beating their collective heads against the wall of cynicism, they signpost one escape route from the land of tedia. It looks as if not many people are willing to follow...shame
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 July 2012
Nick Cave's alternative project Grinderman released this second (and allegedly final) album in 2010, and it sits impressively alongside the band's 2007 debut. For me, the earlier album scores slightly higher with its more distinctive mix of the odd ballad and the full-on punk sound of songs such as Get It On and Love Bomb (there's no equivalent of this sound here). Nevertheless, Grinderman 2 certainly impresses with its fuller, and more ambitious (and, I would say, bluesy) sound, and (as you might expect) another set of poetic, macabre and (at times) brilliantly scathing lyrics. Indeed, sound-wise, Cave's newly restored guitar playing and Martin Casey's pulsating bass-lines are particularly impressive here.

The album kicks off with the superb Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man, whose deceptively mellow opening bars of Cave's guitar soon transform into the album's trademark sound of pounding bass and searing, feedback-infused guitar. The song features Cave's wailing vocal as he introduces one of the album's themes (as featured on the cover) of all things lupine, 'I was Mickey Mouse, he was the Big Bad Wolf!'. Next up is another standout, Worm Tamer, whose backbeat and rhythm outshines that of the album opener, and features an amazing accompaniment of Warren Ellis' electric violin/viola, organ and (maybe even) electric bouzouki, plus the magical sound of Cave rhyming 'serpent wrangler' with 'untangle her'.

In a similar vein, both of Kitchenette and the album's closer Bellringer Blues are slower, blues-based, but typically powerful near-ballads, both very impressive, with the former being a particular lyrical tour-de-force ('What's this husband of yours ever given to you, Oprah Winfrey on a plasma screen, and a brood of jug-eared buck-toothed imbe ciles the ugliest kids I've ever seen'). At the slightly more 'commercial' end of the spectrum, When My Baby Comes is even closer to ballad format, with a heavenly chorus, before the song (in trademark fashion) morphs into a blistering guitar (and bass-) laden conclusion, whilst Palaces Of Montezuma is the album's obvious single, closer in style to more recent Bad Seeds material, and containing the other killer lyric on the album - and one of Cave's best ever lines - 'I give to you the spinal cord of JFK, wrapped in Marilyn Monroe's negligee'. Once heard, never forgotten!

It is (on reflection) quite tempting to give the album 5 stars, but the inclusion of a couple of throwaway songs (What I Know and Evil) lead me to just the 4.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 15 September 2010
To kick this off let me just say that I approve
of the artwork WHOLEHEARTEDLY! Mrs Wolf's older
brother Reginald has scrubbed up quite well for
the photoshoot don't you think?! Now let's listen.

This is Grinderman's second outing in the listening world and
it has not been welcomed with open arms by those in the music
press who don't quite like the idea of Nick Cave and his pals
letting their hair down (and there is a very great deal of hair
in evidence in this splendid ensemble!) and making a big, bad
noise. I take the view that if there's something as good as this
in there to let out then it would be a crying shame to keep it in!

Grinderman make a wonderfully dirty hullabaloo. It's grubby and
raw and unsanitised and just a little bit menacing in a nice way.

There are nine songs in the collection and you will need
speakers of substantial power and durability to enjoy them
at their best (Which is another way of saying PLAY IT LOUD!)

Opening track 'Mickey Mouse and The Goodbye Man' takes a few bars
to make up its mind where it's going, then, just when we were
lulled into a false sense of security, a perfectly malevolent
riff blunders in and Mr Cave starts spitting out some maniacally
off-the-wall voodoo and howling like a man possessed. When the
band falls into the groove behind him the walls really do begin
to shake with the sheer force of the elemental power which these
four fine and fiery musicians release!

Listening to 'Worm Tamer' is a little bit like being hit around
the head repeatedly with a shovel and still wanting more!

'Heathen Child' is a nightmare blues from hell, full of madness
and mayhem. It sounds as if it might have crawled half-formed
out of a Lousiana swamp with the worst of possible intentions.

There is a tad more tenderness in evidence in 'When My Baby Comes'
but the trundling rhythm and Warren Ellis's keening violin keeps
us on our toes. Nothing here is exactly a comfortable ride.
The arrangement thickens and congeals around some blazing guitar
work and Mr Cave's banshee hollering at the song's dark core.

'What I Know' is a stripped-down piece of itchy-scratchy
existential uncertainty. Edgy and unsettling and strangely fragile.

'Evil' can barely contain its own devilish energy. It thrashes
and writhes like an animal caught in a trap. Nasty but very nice!

In 'Kitchenette', when Mr Cave sings : "I stick my fingers in your
biscuit jar and crush all your gingerbread men" one suspects that
his intentions may not be entirely honourable!

'Palaces Of Montezuma' is about as 'straight' as things get.
It has clear shape and form and some delightfully whacky words.
It sort-of wants to be a pop song but the band just won't let it!

Final track 'Bellringer Blues' is a blissfully barmy jam
supporting Mr Cave's waywardly uplifting nihilistic evangelism.
No one else does it quite like him. The high priest of broken souls.

Hold your breath and trust your ears.
Grinderman are dangerously good to know!

Highly Recommended.
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Grinderman seems to be an outlet for Nick Cave and Co to let their collective hair down.

As you can imagine, the song writing is spot on, the lyrics potent and the musicianship terrific.

There is nothing subtle here - this is full-on 'in your face' Cave having a ball - thoroughly indulgent and extremely enjoyable.

If you like this, you may wish to try the Grinderman 2 RMX album, though proceed with caution if this sort of thing is not your cup of tea.

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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2010
This is a down-and-dirty rock album. It certainly very funny in places, but it doesn't come from an adolescent place, which perhaps explains some of the negative reviews. It doesn't court favour: sonically, at times it's outre and abrasive in way that you just don't get nowadays, while lyrically it's Cave at his most lascivious and baleful. In fact, I would say that its frankness and uncompromising attitude gives it more in common with the original blues artists or funk acts of the 70s than anything currently kicking around. It's great fun and visceral stuff, but don't expect to feel that the band are going to hold your hand and tell you everything is going to be okay or that they understand; on the strength of this record, any physical contact with Grinderman would probably end badly and probably require a course of penicillin.
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on 2 October 2010
This album is always going to excite controversy because like Grinderman 1 it is rude, irreverent and uninhibited and not everyone can deal with that. No attempt at commerciality is offered as Grinderman invite you to swallow it whole or choke on it, it simply roars with basic honesty, earthy humour and a towering powerful originality. The music has a primeval element that grips your psyche with an intensity that simply has to be experienced live, people frequently claim that a Grinderman gig compares with (or even exceeds) seeing Hendrix, the Doors or Led Zep and many believe that here at last is what rock should have always been seeking.

Like Grinderman 1 every track is somehow a surprise and there is little point is singling out individual tracks as any that don't immediately grip you will do so even more strongly before too long, there are simply no great tracks or poor tracks it is all stunning! Nor is there much sense in dwelling on the individual performances of each of the band because although it is true that Warren Ellis's work on guitar and violin is unique and awesome, and yes Martin Cassey's rhythmic force on bass is stunning and Jim Sclavunos behind the drums creates a fearsome driving power that blasts Grinderman forward, whilst the force of Nick Cave's artistic personality does find a new expression here BUT it is really the band as a single entity that makes Grinderman unique and this truly is a sound like no other.

It is of course easy to drivel on with superlatives about how fine an album from one of your favourite artists is and wrong to do so unless you believe the work really is that special, well here is a work of art, almost certainly the rock album of the decade, something that will be remembered as coming closest to seeing the band live and for many it is at long last a truthful reaffirmation of the simple life enhancing power of rock.
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on 15 September 2010
Got the new GRINDERMAN II today. I love this album. I was doubtful that this would match up to the first but it does by a country mile. A natural progession of this great man's concorted narration of life's underbelly.

Dark, visceral and hypnotic; all done with a firm tongue-in-cheek.

Can't wait to see this set live at the end of the month. Thank God for Nick Cave!

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on 18 September 2010
Im curious about all the disappointment and expectation that accompanies this album. One of the things I like about Grinderman as a band is we all know its Nick Cave and the seeds not releasing Nick Cave and the seeds albums. While some of the more negative reviews here are right in saying this follow up doesn't have some of the distinguishing points the first did they seem to ignore what they're replaced with - a dirty sonic bark of an album. To me, its a mood, or an attitude more than addictive hooks and clever poeticisms.

Pull it apart and you can find lyrics, riffs etc aren't the majestic achievements you find on GM1 or other Cave and seeds albums but i wholeheartedly find this album to be greater than the sum of its parts.
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on 19 July 2013
Great stuff!!!! Just sorry there was only 2 albums in this guise and that we managed to miss a live performance - but maybe Nick & the boys will pop in a grinderman track or two in their set list this autumn.
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I only came across this side project of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds after they decided to call a halt and got back to the original band. Rally sad I missed seeing them do this live.
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