Nick Cave & Warren Ellis. I saw the Bad Seeds at the Corn Exchange a couple of years ago and watching those two on stage. One strutting, posturing and preaching; the other possessed by the spirits of music, lost in the world of the violin. It really was something special.
I got Grinderman 2 at the end of the year, a record that I think is pretty awesome, though why they don’t just release it as the Bad Seeds I’m not quite sure. Listening to that record, with all the growl and grunge and scuzz and bite, it’s really quite hard to get your head around where this absolutely beautiful piece of music has come from. Obviously, I am well aware of Cave’s ability to conjure up a beautiful piano lead song. However, this is an utterly sublime piece of mostly classical composition.
When it comes to soundtracks, I actually do prefer to listen to them firstly as a piece of music. I was blown away by Jonny Greenwood’s soundtrack to There Will Be Blood but I heard that first within the context of the film. It’s a totally different beast when you listen to something without its context. Can it stand alone? Will it sink or swim? In this instance, Cave and Ellis have produced something that, as an independent piece of music, is pretty incredible.
I’ve not seen The Road, but I do know the story and what really struck me about this record is that it very rarely strays into the bleak, dark side that you would expect. In fact, for the most part, it is quite stunningly gentle and uplifting.
Of course, there are moments on the record filled with noise, dischord, abrasive sounds, and these do suck you into the idea of a world destroyed, as the album cover would suggest. A post-apocalyptic landscape with no hope or happiness. And yet, Cave and Ellis conjure up something that could warm the darkest heart. That could give hope to the most lost soul. It’s a masterstroke as a piece of music and I personally now cannot wait to see how it fits into the context that it was written for. I know that this record is not new, I just think it’s brilliant. That’s all.