Album review: Grinderman – Grinderman 2 (Mute)

The second offering from Nick Cave's side project is unrelentingly sex-crazed - and very, very funny

[a]Grinderman[/a]’s 2007 debut was the funny and frustrated tale of a set of characters beset by a catastrophic inability to get laid. Three years later, a continuing sexual impasse has twisted their snappy garage blues into testosterone-addled, thick-browed rock and lurching psychedelia. In [b]‘Grinderman 2’[/b] [b]Nick Cave[/b], [b]Warren Ellis[/b], [b]Martyn P Casey[/b] and [b]Jim Sclavunos[/b] have ejaculated a curious and rowdy record that, in a world of po-faced drips, revels in mischief.

The notion that [b]Nick Cave[/b] is a misanthropic cove who sits in some dank mansion smoking laudanum through a vulture’s thigh bone has long been discounted, not due to his being spotted waving a giant polystyrene hand at a Brighton musical, but because [b]Grinderman[/b] are hellish fun. The video for [b]‘Heathen Child’[/b], which features the band dressed in gladiatorial outfits that reveal drummer [b]Sclavunos[/b]’ arse, is evidence enough that this isn’t the sort of joyless trad-rock side project intended to cosy up to Jools Holland.

Fecund musicality is the key to [b]‘Grinderman 2’[/b], the stained sheets upon which [b]Cave[/b]’s lascivious words thrash. On [b]‘Evil’[/b], Cave wails imploringly to a woman “in this rented room” over [b]Warren Ellis[/b]’ guitar, which squeals and howls like the animals of the Ark undergoing brutal torture. In [b]‘Kitchenette’[/b], Cave tries to prize the object of his affections from her current flame: [i]“What’s this husband of yours ever given to you? Oprah Winfrey on a plasma screen?”[/i], while [b]‘Worm Tamer’[/b] features the finest lyric of 2010: [i]“My baby calls me the Loch Ness monster/Two great big humps and then I’m gone”[/i]. The devil be praised that, rather than visiting the shrink or brothel to deal with his sexual dysfunction, the [b]Grinderman[/b] went to the studio instead.

[b]Luke Turner[/b]

Click here to get your copy of Grinderman’s ‘Grinderman 2’ from Rough Trade Shops.