Nick Cave Gets Nasty With Grinderman
By Kim Bellware in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 22, 2010 9:30PM
Grinderman is Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey and Jim Sclavunos (photo via Grinderman's myspace)
When the group dropped Grinderman 2 this fall, some of the scattershot nature of the first Grinderman effort was still evident. The song structures are still pretty irregular, but the unevenness on the record is quickly forgotten when the quartet cranks up the fuzz and runs a buzz saw through the music. The result is dirty, grinding and exhilarating despite the near-constant ominous, creeping feel. There's a sense of doom and dream to Grinderman's songs--no matter how comically lecherous they are in content. Added to the scuzziness of the music that draws equally from noodlely psychedelia, '60s garage rock and post-punk is Cave's sexually-charged howling and moaning that's almost blues-y in its conviction. Cave is well past 50, but boy does he sound horny. Grinderman rocks out warped versions of mid-life frustrations with no apology, like a fantasy group of past-their-prime dads who have formed a garage band, singing and playing however the hell they want to.
Of course, all jokes aside, Grinderman's individual members are well-versed and outright solid musicians. It's exactly why seeing the old hands find their way as a new act--the way countless new, young bands do all the time--is so brilliant. Even though everyone in Grinderman knows what and how to play for the best result, they dodge the obvious choices, making even their missteps all the more interesting. Dark and dirty has always been Cave's go-to, and with Grinderman, he proves that he can be versatile and risky even with the same tools he always uses.