Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Your Funeral...My Trial



by tomwaits4noman USER (10 Reviews)
January 1st, 2008 | 6 replies

Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is the best part of the trip, the part I really like.....

For me this is Nick Cave's Heroin album.

This is not to say that creative credit should be placed on the drug, Cave is a talented and inventive songwriter but in the same way that drugs have fuelled the bile of his early work the birthday party here it seems to fuel dreamier sound scapes which would be explored at greater depth 4 yrs later with "The Good Son." and darker jarring rhythms.

Opening with the title track Your Funeral My trial, Cave builds on the cabaret and elements of the covers album "Kicking against.." recalling the songs "the carnival is over" and "Sleeping Annaleah".

The song manages to feel dream like and yet hold a quiet menace. The combination of the piano and organ over Thomas Wydler's marching style drumming.

"Stranger than Kindness" takes the quiet menace and turns it up to 11, built around bass loops and weird noises, it is unsettling also hypnotic in is spiraling melody.

Jacks Shadow, feels like a half way point between Cave's blues exploration with the "First Born is dead" and technicolour violence "Tender Prey," While every bit as tense as the previous track the song is filled with harmonies and a strong melody.

The nightmare has not even begun... "the Carny" christ "The Carny" at 8 minutes plus, its utterly captivating and among the most disturbing song that Cave had recorded to date, which given his out put up on to this point says a lot. It lies somewhere between Edgar Allen Poe and Tom Waits circus songs, played by a circus troupe on LSD.
Organs, pounding pianos and a Xylophone all crash together in a see saw arrangement as Cave tells the story of a missing Carny and a horse been buried.

Xylophones carry us through to "She Fell Away" built on Bargeld's surf guitar riff, metallic percussion. Cave's vocals crooning over the tale of lost love, as the band play at a frantic pace.

While Cave has dealt with love through his career few of his songs, not counting with Grinder man, deal purely with sex. Here Cave addresses it full on, throwing in every biblical image imaginable.
an example
"I am going to give those gates a shove"

though a highlight has to be when he starts to sing over and over "Just when I am about to get my hands on, for her breasts rising"
like a man possessed, all swagger over a grinding guitar.

Then just as The Carny was a shock after Jacks Shadow, so is the fragile love song "Sad Waters" after "hard on,"
Cave's vocals are doubled one set sung the other spoken with a 1 second delay between them. Its not quiet a complete success but the song is one of his beautiful dream like love songs. A harmonica plays over the bridge.

"Long Time Man" is a cover, originally by Tim Rose, the lyrics perfectly suited to Cave "and brother I shot my wife and can't even remember why" (sidenote: two years later Bargeld would cover another Tim Rose song with his band Einst├╝rzende Neubauten.)

ANd here the album probably should have ended, in fact of the initial copies had scum
listed as a bonus copy.
Cave sounds like his clearing his throat before his spits out the lyrics, recounting the tale of a journalist who took Cave in. you can guess how that living arrangement worked out.
It is perhaps the closest Cave has gotten to his birthday party days but without Howard's manic guitars or Pew's bass it is a pale imitation.

While many may state that Tender Prey or The Good Son are better choices of Cave's early albums, Your Funeral My trial is in my mind his most focused and consistent of these albums. It feels like a full album rather than a collection of songs which some of Cave's work can sound like.

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user ratings (153)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 6th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

great review. good to see some attention towards nick cave. he is no doubt my favorite singer/songwriter. everything he does is just magical

August 22nd 2008


The Carny is brilliant, apart from this I could never get into this album fully. I would agree this sounds like his "heroin album", it is unrelentingly dark and foreboding.

It feels to me the weakest of the group however. Still, I may give it some more time.

July 20th 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

my favourite release from cave, and that is saying something. his discography reads like a 10 or so album set of "best post-punk albums EVER!" or something

November 18th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

Just listened to this, what an awesome album

January 11th 2013


Album Rating: 4.5

This album really stands out from everything else they've done. The feeling of despair and insanity it provokes, it always makes me feel like I'm naked at the bottom of a well and it's just cold and wet and dark. It also brings to mind Neil Gaiman's depiction of Despair as that hopeless fat and naked woman.

October 6th 2014


Album Rating: 4.5

Why is this album so overlooked?

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