This is not just dirty, this is absolutely filthy. It is dark, raw and impassioned and the grimiest thing Nick Cave has done since The Birthday Party. Recorded in just four days but compellingly well-produced by Nick Launay and the band, this ticks all the alternative blues boxes and then some.
Right from the opener, Get It On (not a cover of the old T-Rex hit either), there is no doubting the rabidly raw vision of this group, also comprising of some of Cave's Bad Seeds; Warren Ellis, Martin Casey and Jim Sclavunos. Cave's gothic-blues lyrics couldn't have found a more well-suited home while his voice has never sounded better and his delivery is of an energy and passion of a man at least half his age (not that us old blokes are passionless, mind).
More than anything else, it is the way Cave and company continue to push their creativity and themselves to extraordinary lengths (Nick eschews his first instrument, piano, for guitar, which he admits he plays rudimentarily at best). The rest of the band have said in various interviews it is this element, more than any other single thing, that informs the overall sound of Grinderman.
There are some tracks on this album that have goth-classic written all over them with Depth Charge Ethel, I Don't Need You (To Set Me Free), No Pussy Blues and Honey Bee (Let's Fly To Mars) being particular favourites of mine. I don't think I could ever hear enough of this. Grinderman 2, the followup, is now officially on my must-have list.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
When I first started listening to this CD I thought - he's done it! Nick Cave has found a band that will bring him to his vocal nadir! But actually, that's only the first track. The rest of it - wait for it - is not too bad. Especially song 2 - No Pussy Blues - which was hysterical.
So while I haven't changed my mind about Mr Cave's musical chops, I won't be putting this one in the rubbish bin - yet.VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN
For more information go to http://www.grinderman.com/