Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Kicking Against The Pricks


3.5
great

Review

by widowslaugh123 USER (17 Reviews)
April 15th, 2018 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not a classic Cave and The Bad Seeds output but an essential and imperative point in their long career.

Usually cover albums should be avoided. Whether it's Garage inc, Acid Eaters, or the infamous Punk Goes... series, more often than not a full album of covers is a pretty bad idea. It is difficult to pull off someone else's original idea better than them. At some point when digesting any particular cover a not too unreasonable question creeps into your brain. Why would I listen to this when I can hear the original"

So when The Bad Seeds released an album of pop tunes, country ballads, and folk classics in 1986 I am sure there was a lot of groans and moans. After all, not only was it some heroin-addicted freakazoid vampire butchering these American classics, but they were done by an Australian! Surely Cave would piss off all the fans of the original composers... but wouldn't his own audience not be very pleased with this choice" Like, who is this for"

The goth king covering Tom Jones is a weird image let alone sound. This is at times cringe-worthy, both in song selection and execution. No one can deny that it is pretty questionable covering “Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart”. I’m not too sure what to think. However, I do think considering the album in full that there is a lot of material that satisfies both camps. Fans of the original could maybe appreciate the faithful but new take, and fans of Cave who may be unfamiliar with these old songs might like it because it’s fucking Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Maybe this album got a punk into country artists. Probably not. But maybe.

I'll admit that some songs and ideas work better than others. "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" is a little too dramatic for its own good. But opener “Muddy Waters” is a moody masterpiece. The minimally plucked guitar add much to the feeling by not overdoing and riding the rhythm. “Sleeping Annaleah” also succeeds (mostly due to the strength of the strings) with its major to minor chords shifting with the words. “Yesterday the sun was shining but you find it don’t shine all the time.” As the music drifts from being uplifting and smiling to fairly ominous and moving. Then a disjointed 3/4 beat in between the verses.

“Long Black Veil” is a goddamn winner. Simple as fuck but effective. Such a peculiarly addicting chorus. There are a few times when Cave may even surpass the original compositions like how “All Tomorrow’s Parties” is some sort a drunken singalong party tune... if you were also tripping balls. And you can’t really go wrong with a song like “Jesus Met The Woman At The Well.” Songs that are historically and culturally catchy as fuck.

The musicianship on here is not necessarily here to show off. It’s mostly reserved minus some truly cacophonous moments. There aren’t any blistering solos (but then again most Bad Seeds material doesn’t have that to begin with) but everything is very tight and precise. Occasionally the band does let loose and it is always a welcome occurrence.

What makes this album important is the sort of stepping stone moment it turns out to be in the bands career. If you look at what came before... and what came after... it’s a pretty big difference. I think they learned a lot from this album. They got better at meshing the whole weird-creaking-experimental-blues with a tortured singer thing down. If you are a fan of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds it is a good idea to listen to this record. Not only is it interesting to listen to the progression of the band, but a lot of the songs are excellently interpreted.



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user ratings (156)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
widowslaugh123
April 15th 2018


760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Anyone know why all my ?’s are quotes? I can’t edit them either

Digging: Sly and The Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2018


14156 Comments


It's something that happened the last time the site went down. If you go onto my jack white review and copy the question mark from that and put it into your review it should work

Digging: Our Place of Worship is Silence - With Inexorable Suffering

widowslaugh123
April 15th 2018


760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What the fuck? Also I just wrote a soundoff and quoted a few songs and the quotes had fucking question marks! What the fuck is going on??

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2018


14156 Comments


haha yeah, it's a strange glitch that hasn't been sorted out.

Sweet review btw. Pos. Don't think it'll appeal to me though.

widowslaugh123
April 15th 2018


760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn well I guess I’ve seen worse on this site. Just listened to that jack white album and it was one of the most terrible albums I’ve ever heard

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
April 15th 2018


14156 Comments


Aye, it's a strange one, that's for sure!

Veldin
April 16th 2018


3189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, pos'd. Great, fitting collection of songs

Veldin
April 16th 2018


3189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i thought "Black Betty" was on this album?

Veldin
April 16th 2018


3189 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

apparently I must've just added "Black Betty" and "Running Scared" to mine, because they were released as b-sides to "The Singer"

widowslaugh123
April 16th 2018


760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh shit you got any links to that?

dbizzles
April 16th 2018


11201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Aight, you convinced me. I’ll check out the originals this week or next week and give this a more fair shake.

Digging: HIRS - Friends. Lovers. Favorites.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2018


40106 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

apparently I must've just added "Black Betty" and "Running Scared" to mine, because they were released as b-sides to "The Singer"




you've got the first CD remaster then. added bsides into the tracklist for all the early albums (In the Ghetto and Moon is in the Gutter for FHTE, The Six Strings that Drew Blood for TFID and Scum on YFMT)



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