Described by Nick Cave as his mid-life crisis, the jaded chauvinism of Grinderman is ageing like fine wine as it nears 15 years since its debut.
It's hard to recommend due to their intentional anti-social postering through extreme subject matter and overdriven guitars. But after repeated listens, the self-titled albums from 2007 and 2010 make more sense in the context of Guns and Roses rather than the Bad Seeds.
This shock-horror theatre that Cave has orbited his whole career, from The Birthday Party to 'Stagger Lee', reaches its logical conclusion here. Its blatant misanthropic, phallic imagery and doomed romanticism exhaust this idea that Cave has been building for the last four decades. The guitars, the porn-stache, the cowboy attitude, it's all here.
This rebel concept is finally completely actualised and then put to bed, as Cave would return with the Bad Seeds in 2013 for 'Push the Sky Away' and opt to explore more mature themes with quieter beauty rather than audible abuse.
This Freudian release of psycho-sexual tension, aggression and insecurity is cathartic not only in the songs but mainly in the context of Cave's legacy. This dynamic is why 'Palaces of Montezuma' is one of the best closing statements of the 2010s, as it stops the self-destructing arc of the two albums with an empathetic embrace. And if that's not your thing, 'Get It On, 'Love Bomb' and 'Depth Charge Ethyl' hits like a ton of bricks.
A hard recommendation, but an excellent one regardless. Essential for all Nick Cave and Warren Ellis fans.
Grinderman 1 & 2 Available in Store Now