Grinderman
Grinderman 2


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
October 1st, 2010 | 19 replies | 8,824 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Grinderman take themselves seriously and make a far more sophisticated record than their debut.

When I saw Grinderman on their first Australian tour in 2007, the first thing I saw upon entering the venue was a large plastic horse (the extravagantly colourful kind you'd see on a merry-go-round) resting in the centre of the stage. Along with everyone else, I wondered why it was there and being familiar with the band's self-titled album, I assumed it was some kind of bizarre stage prop destined for destruction at the beginning of the show, in keeping with Cave's reputation for chaotic live shows during his time in The Birthday Party. With this hype in my mind, I was a bit disappointed to realise it was actually the prop for the opening act: a solo burlesque dancer. As appropriate a burlesque dancer with a plastic horse may have been for the opening of a Grinderman show, it was certainly nowhere near as fun as the scene of a 50-year-old moustached man with a Stratocaster roundhouse kicking said horse into the front row of the crowd I was eagerly imagining.

The point, of course, is that Grinderman's self-titled album was a gleefully crude, immature, and crass record by a group of scraggly-haired men who should have, and in fact did, know better. The greatest strength of the record, evidenced in the stupidly simple noise riffs of songs like "Get It On" and "No Pussy Blues", was that it sounded like the band simply didn't care what they were playing. Grinderman 2 feels like the necessary next step for the band: namely a record that sounds more sophisticated than noisy garage jams. Which is not to say that the record doesn't retain much of the same energy that permeated the group's debut, just that it's been fashioned into something more sophisticated.

Opener "Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man", for example, reintroduces the nasty fuzzy, blues-noise riffs of the group's debut with brutal quiet-loud dynamics and shrieking wah pedal abuse. "I woke up this morning/Thought what am I doing here?" Cave whispers before belting out the almost nonsensical chorus. The song ideas, however, are not the same as those contained on the group's debut: there's a far greater sense of climax when the heavy choruses hit, not to mentioned more complex riffing. "When My Baby Comes" is perhaps the record's most sophisticated cut, complete with Tom Waits styled percussion, a chorus of falsetto backing vocals, and supremely heavy stoner-rock dynamics, while "What I Know" is the tasteful Grinderman version of an acoustic ballad and "Kitchenette" is perhaps the first genuinely sexy song of the group's catalogue.

Grinderman 2, undoubtedly, is a better record than its predecessor, but while it's more diverse, fun, and engaging than Grinderman, I can't help but miss the crudeness of that album. While "Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man", "Heathen Child" and "Evil" certainly try, nothing here stomps quite as hard as "No Pussy Blues" or "Get It On". My complaint, however, is a small one, and there is no doubt in my mind that I'd be disappointed if the group stuck to same formula they employed on their debut. Indeed, Grinderman 2 is actually a far more listen-able record, with far more replay value, and this is what I'll remember when I find myself nostalgic for the dumb simplicity of the first album. Even if it is a marginally less appropriate soundtrack to imagine a 53 year old man kicking a plastic horse to.



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3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
br3ad_man
Emeritus
October 1st 2010



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The other review is really good, just wanted to write one myself because I'm really digging this album.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 1st 2010



3765 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yesss. Really good record.

Also, that is hands down the best cover art of 2010.

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

xfearbefore
October 1st 2010



1245 Comments


Oooooh new Nick Cave record? I'm all over this shit.

Powerban
October 1st 2010



2380 Comments


i really don't know how to get a good tempo with anything i review. i need a new approach i think. good review.

Spare
October 1st 2010



5270 Comments


the single from this didn't seem like they were taking themselves too seriously. maybe i just wasn't paying attention to the song and focusing more on the video.

rainonmyparade
October 1st 2010



40 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^^^^^Heathen Child, lyrically and visually, one of the less serious songs off the album. Give the album a chance, the single is one of the worst songs on the album IMO.

Spare
October 1st 2010



5270 Comments


yeah i was gonna get this anyway seeing as it's nick cave and the first grinderman album was awesome.

jrowa001
October 1st 2010



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

got this yesterday. i love it, Nick Cave can never do anything wrong (unless he decides to make another spoken word album)

Bleekill
October 1st 2010



832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Mhmm Nick Cave is the shit. I still need to listen to this more for a rating but I figure it's at least a 4.

jingledeath
October 2nd 2010



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Need this. Nick Cave is the boss.

Romulus
October 2nd 2010



8423 Comments


digging this a lot

Hypn0toad
October 3rd 2010



1 Comments


Heathen Child is the craziest shit i have ever seen. Hi, Im Marc I just signed up, woo.

Bleekill
October 3rd 2010



832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Welcome. Yeah that video was awesome. I've been meaning to get more of Nick Cave's soundtracks. The Road's was cool and same with the Murder of Jesse james.

Awesomesauce
October 3rd 2010



1084 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really, really solid album.

AtavanHalen
October 4th 2010



17927 Comments


Man that first paragraph was little more than a rage-inducing headache

Dryden
October 4th 2010



12928 Comments


ok





jrowa001
October 6th 2010



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules. love every single song on this.

WhiteNoise
October 7th 2010



3088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The first track on this album absolutely rules. I heard the next 3 and also enjoyed them so looks like I'm picking up this album soon.

ExcentrifugalForz
February 8th 2014



1698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

my aoty for 2010.

Still love the fire in this band.

Digging: Renaissance - Grandine il Vento



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