Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Album Review: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released a double album in 2004, which in fact had two separate titles for each one.  The so-called 'harder' album could be deduced from its title - Abattoir Blues.  In reality, it's not a balls-out rave-up by any means.  There are two Cave-patented rabble-rousers on the album, Get Ready For Love and There She Goes, My Beautiful World but I have little to say about these type of songs.  They seem as strong as any previous efforts in this vein but they do very little for me. 

So what of the rest of the album?  Far from savage, abattoir evoking stompers, Cannibal's Hymn is a kind of loping, creeping grind that gradually gets heavier, while the likes Messiah Ward, Let The Bells Ring and the title track are taut, slinky numbers.  Hiding All Away is an almost gospel call-and-response track with some very fruity lyrics ("He opened his oven wide, he basted you with butter babe and made you crawl inside"), before Cave roars "there is a war coming".  The melody of Nature Boy is highly reminiscent of Cockney Rebel's Come Up And See Me, Make Me Smile, it's hard not to think of this song once you make the connection.

None of it is particularly hard, and none of it is amazing either.  I wouldn't put any of this on a collection of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' best, or their worst either.