Grinderman

Grinderman
Mute Records

Mental breakdowns and crises can occur at any point in an existing person’s lifetime, most commonly when confronted with the concepts of existence, or indeed a limited time in which one can be alive and exist. Shit, I’m constantly surprised that we’re not in a constant state of anxiety-ridden madness, I know I’m flirting with the idea just writing about it. And listening to the latest disc of fuzz-fuelled fantasy and anti-serious garage rock from Nick Cave’s Grinderman project almost tempted me to indulge in a balls-out illicit affair with insanity.

That is not to say that Grinderman is Cave’s outlet to just lose his shit; though shoving on some Roman garb and thrusting lasers at the earth while a wolf circles a girl in a bathtub would almost have you thinking otherwise. And I’m certainly not going green-text imply that The Bad Seeds isn’t the music he truly wants to make. What Grinderman 2 is, is an informed soundtrack of celebration for the natural impulses that linger in our sub-conscious that make us occasionally want to thrust lasers from our dick while wearing armour and shout ‘HERE COME THE WOLFMAN’ while walking into a cinema. It’s the reason why we celebrate Halloween.

Musically, it’s bitter, gorgeous and somehow more sonically expansive then the first collection of impromptu sleazy, visceral rock. Cave’s absurdist saturation of sexual, violent, hilarious lyrics penetrate harder than ever as he scowls on Worm Tamer, ‘My baby calls me the Loch Ness Monster, two great big humps and then I cum’ while the perpetual bass fuzz makes you want to just get up and throw shit. One can only imagine how fun the Grinderman recording sessions are as they surf through high and low culture on an impossibly badass selection of bluesy riffs and guitar noise that can only be made by the monster that lives in the garages of tacky US horror flicks.

So dive in and embrace the wonderful breakdowns that are imminent when listening to one of the most raw albums you’ll hear in 2010. And if you thought your big husband would protect you, YOU WERE WRONG.

The Wolfman

Grinderman – Heathen Child by Crossfire Music

No Age

Everything In Between
Sub-Pop

Three albums into a short yet critically lauded career, at this stage No Age would probably be forgiven a mis-step. With two great albums already under their belts the band have quickly become one of Sub Pop’s most prized assets, and the addition of Everything in Between to their discography will do this status no harm.

Unlike the band’s previous albums, Everything in Between wastes no time in getting straight into it. The usual ambient and feedback interludes are saved for the second half of the record, as we are greeted by straight up garage rock tracks, laced with more melody than ever before. The band have lost none of the warm and comforting fuzz that they’re known for, but there’s an added sheen to the production of songs like ‘Glitter’ that feels like a step forward for the band. This progression is so slight that they could never be accused of attempting to sound more radio friendly, and when they want to, as on ‘Fever Dreaming’, they still channel raw punk influences.

What makes No Age such an interesting recorded band, though, is their ability to switch it up and produce moments of shimmering instrumental beauty. The first sign of this falls seven tracks in, as shoegazy interlude ‘Katerpillar’ breaks up the record’s two halves. From here the record becomes more varied, as a trio of slow burners ‘Sorts’, ‘Dusted’ and ‘Positive Amputation’ add gorgeous texture to the record. It’s the band’s ability to switch effortlessly between the two that makes them so special, as the album finishes on the poppy duet ‘Chem Trails’.

Where exactly Everything in Between ranks next to Nouns and Weirdo Rippers remains to be seen, but it already feels like a record that could be lived in for a long time to come. In a year where indie rock has at times looked so short of ideas, No Age remain one of the genre’s bright sparks.

Sleekly Lion