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Listening Party

Grinderman: Grinderman 2

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Grinderman 2


A steak, rare, with something deep-fried on the side. No veggies, thanks. And a shot of Jack Daniels with a beer to chase. A last meal, a final meal. The meal you eat when you don’t have or care about a future. The meal you eat when you’re feeling, or better, living dangerous. This is the only thing on the menu that is Grinderman 2, nine songs of sweaty, sweet release via unadulterated but plenty adulterous rock ’n’ roll. Daresay there isn’t anything else contemporary to it in our world right now. It even makes you write different.

The second release of this Nick Cave-led band—featuring a few Bad Seeds—isn’t the kind of capital-“R” real rock of the Hold Steady or the overblown post-garage psych of the Dead Weather. It is “When My Baby Comes,” near seven minutes that drone on in weird psych-scape (plus violin) with Cave taking the role of the imprisoned lover, wondering over and over and over “Just how long you gonna be, my baby?” like said prisoner ticking off years on a cell wall. And then the song breaks, he breaks, and so follows one of the finer rock meltdowns/climaxes in recent memory, busting with strings and lashing bass and cracking, shrieking feedback. It’s ecstatic and gorgeous—truly some best-ever shit.

Grinderman 2 is, also, the few minutes of ghost-hiss and whisper-singing of “What I Know,” or the slow Blues Hammer groove/stomp of “Kitchenette,” where Nick Cave is totally gonna fuck your wife (and turns out you deserve it). Which also features a magnificent dying siren of a guitar squall and all in all the sort of tension that could age a human at double speed. Meanwhile, “Palaces of Montezuma” gets at Grinderman’s sly R&B-ness and throws down a spine-chill pretty chorus, where, finally, you can hear the record’s blood pressure drop just enough to deliver an actual hook. And, one song later, the record ends so fast and hard, it almost isn’t fair. Listen loud.

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