Nick Cave didn’t write music on guitars. He preferred his piano stool. Anyway, his guitar playing wasn’t on the same level. It was underdeveloped, primitive perhaps. Raw. But Cave, who should need no introduction, saw something in this. After touring Abbatoir Blues/Lyre of the Orpheus the Australian decided it was a good idea to return to pluck some strings and package the rawness he had uncovered. Grinderman is Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds only with a guitar and an amp belted all the way up. The line up remains the same. Their first offerring under this moniker, was a self titled blast of energy more akin to Cave’s work with The Birthday Party.
Although Cave promised a sound different from the first album, Grinderman 2 is another chunk of fuzzy blues, albeit a slightly more matured fuzz. ‘Heathen Child’ the planned first single is understandably the stand out track, and ‘Bellringer Blues’ isn’t far behind, its reversed melody brings a strange sort of hypnotic rhythm that was certainly absent on the first album. It is such small nuances that mark a difference on this outing. ‘Kitchenette’ in a way perfectly defines Cave’s devilish approach to the blues, while ‘Evil’ is delightfully noisey.
If Grinderman as a project was created to be markedly different to Cave’s output with The Bad Seeds then Grinderman 2 retains, almost embraces, this difference. For Cave, this is just a raw expression, as he has stated numerously Grinderman is not about monetary again or critical success. Regardless though, his followers will lap it up.