Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top 10 Albums of 2008: 8. NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS- Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!

After a period in the late 90’s where Cave seemed to be losing the edge that first marked him out, he is now in the midst of a creative revival that began with the gothic sprawl of 2004’s Abbatoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus and continued with the garage-rock ferocity of his Grinderman side-project. Lazarus, the Bad Seed’s 14th studio album, has more in common with the latter, laying on more distortion, squall and tight, lean riffs; but whereas Grinderman’s themes were predominantly of the carnal variety, on Lazarus Cave’s trademark religious imagery and fascination with mythical Americana adds extra flavour. The Bad Seeds are on excellent form throughout, the songs infused with countless eerie, unnerving or compelling touches: the disorientating loops of ‘Night of the Lotus Eaters’, the sleighbells that add atmosphere to the twilit ‘Moonland’, the random guitar licks spattered like paint over the canvas of ‘We Call Upon the Author’. Then of course there’s the delirious, surrealist poetry of Cave, spinning darkly humorous modern-day Biblical yarns such as the Dylanesque ‘More News From Nowhere’ and the unhinged ‘We Call Upon the Author’. To quote: ‘Bukowski was a jerk! / Berryman was best! / he wrote like wet papier mache / went the Hemming-way / weirdly on wings and with MAXIMUM PAIN!...’

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