THE GRINDERMAN SINGLES (4)

Grinderman was put on hold in 2008 while The Bad Seeds got working on and subsequently toured Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! In late 2009, once again via social media, word began to leak that Grinderman had recorded a second album of guitar-based uncompromising songs which would likely be taken out on the road.

In July 2010, the new single was made available via soundcloud with some words offered up via pitchfork:-

It’s the first single from the second album from Nick Cave’s balls-out Grinderman project. It’s swampy and bluesy and you may feel like you need a wash after listening to it. The “Heathen Child” single is out on limited edition 12″ colored vinyl September 6 and features another version of the song– dubbed “Super Heathen Child”– with an ear-blasting guitar solo from the one and only Robert Fripp (David Bowie, King Crimson).

Word also soon got out that long-time video collaborator, John Hillcoat, had been involved in the promo side of things, but the alleged controversial nature of the film meant you were never likely to catch it on any television screen.

Heathen Child was issued on red 12″ vinyl. It came with an old-fashioned sexist poster featuring a naked woman. If Grinderman were keen to get folk talking, they certainly succeeded:-

mp3 : Grinderman – Heathen Child
mp3 : Grinderman – Star Charmer
mp3 : Grinderman & Fripp – Super Heathen Child

The most surprising thing was that the b-side was a quiet and gentle ballad, giving some evidence that the new album which was due for release just a week later, would be less one-dimensional than the debut. The extended cut with Robert Fripp has his unmistakable guitar licks, quite akin to the Scary Monsters-era Bowie.

Oh and as this isn’t a television station:-

 

JC

THE GRINDERMAN SINGLES (3)

The self-titled Grinderman debut album had been really well received by most folk, with many of the songs being a variation of one sort or the other on Get It On and No Pussy Blues.

There was, however,one song which could just about have got played on daytime radio, being as near to a pop record as Grinderman would ever get, including a sing-a-long chorus. Rather surprisingly, it was selected in April 20007 as the band’s third 45, and like the debut, in a single-sided limited edition 7″ vinyl format, perhaps in the hope of generating some radio exposure and further sales for the album:-

mp3 : Grinderman – (I Don’t Need You To) Set Me Free

Around this time, the members of Grinderman went into the studio along with the other Bad Seeds and quickly recorded what subsequently be the latter band’s fourteenth album Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! which was issued in early 2008.

Grinderman came out of the studio and onto the stage, making some live appearances in the UK before opening some high-profile US shows as the special guests of The White Stripes and then undertaking a theatre tour of Australia, opening for a Nick Cave ‘solo’ set, which consisted of the same band members.

And that was assumed to be that…a one-off 12 month project that had been fun for all concerned. How wrong we all were….

JC

THE GRINDERMAN SINGLES (2)

The second Grinderman single is an absolute hoot.

It’s garage-rock with a tune and lyric The Cramps would have been proud of which opens with a middle-aged Lothario singing about his face and body failing him and how he’s reduced to self-love. He then goes on to explain how this state of being has come about, namely that he has been reduced to doing a range of demeaning things in an effort to persuade a woman to have sex with him.

He’s tried changing the sheets on his bed, combing his hair to hide the bald patches and sucking in his gut, all to no avail. He tries poetry, DIY repairs and even petting a revolting pet that she dotes on, but still with no progress towards his goal. In the end, he comes to the conclusion to he ain’t going to get any and it’s given him the blues.

mp3 : Grinderman – No Pussy Blues

All of this could have made for an uncomfortable listen, a song filled withy bitterness and bile, full of misogyny and sexist language; but in the hands of a happily married in real-life composer, it becomes something hilarious and as memorable as any of the weepy ballads that had brought Nick Cave to the attention of a wider public.

The b-side turned out to be a track originally considered for inclusion on what would become the debut Grinderman album but left off at a late stage.

mp3 : Grinderman – Chain of Flowers

As time would demonstrate this was the lightest and softest song that would be recorded under the Grinderman badge – it really should have been kept back for the next Bad Seeds album.

JC

THE GRINDERMAN SINGLES (1)

A lazy wee occasional series.

Grinderman came into being in 2006, consisting of Nick Cave and three of his Bad Seeds, Warren Ellis, Jim Sclavunos and Martyn P. Casey. Having undergone an extensive and musically ambitious tour promoting Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheous in which the Bad Seeds had been expanded to include a number of backing singers, the main man wanted to get back to basics and set about writing material akin to the days of The Birthday Party back in the 80s.

Rather than any of its members, and in particular Nick Cave, making themselves available to the media to promote the project, there was instead an extensive use of social media and the internet to get word out about Grinderman with e-mails and texts going to Bad Seeds fans and followers as well as inflential bloggers.

The first ever piece of material was released in the first week of January 2007, consisting of a 7″ single-sided 45 in a limited, numbered edition.

mp3 : Grinderman – Get It On

A magnificent snorting piece of low-fi garage rock and a fabulous calling card that had many of us panting immediately for more. Having said that, a few of the more recent Cave converts, brought to the party by the duet with Kylie and much of the melancholy stuff that he was recording around the turn of the century were a tad bamboozled.

JC