Grinderman, 'Grinderman' (MUTE/Anti-)

8
Grinderman
Critical Mass
Label: MUTE/Anti-

by Mikael Wood

Attention, ladies: Nick Cave's got the "No Pussy Blues." "I sent her every type of flower / I played her guitar by the hour / I patted her revolting little Chihuahua," the blues-punk bard howls on the debut of his new band, Grinderman. "But still she just didn't want to." Cave's cold comfort of choice? The loin-rattling noise that he's deprived himself of while attempting to become his generation's Leonard Cohen.

Grinderman documents the quick-and-dirty fury that Cave and three Bad Seeds (violinist Warren Ellis, bassist Martyn Casey, and drummer Jim Sclavunos) laid down in a weeklong session at a London studio, and to paraphrase the Hold Steady, it's great to see him back in a bar band, baby. Diverted from his ongoing search for salvation, Cave channels the primal misanthropy he explored 30 years ago with the Birthday Party in breakneck scuzz-fuzz freak-outs like "Depth Charge Ethel" and "Get It On," where the singer promises "some words of wisdom," then just doggedly repeats the song's title.

The result is one of Cave's hardest-rocking records, but also one of his funniest. "He drank panther piss and fucked the girls you're probably married to," he spits at one point, mocking but also paying tribute to the outsize machismo that inspired PJ Harvey to write "50ft Queenie." Expect an opera next year to pay penance for this.

Now Hear This: Grinderman - "No Pussy Blues" DOWNLOAD MP3

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