Fantastic!!! Nick Cave!!! Album!!!
Nick Cave’s fourteenth album finds him trading in the gothic romanticism of his previous work for a swampy, sleazy garage-rock-influenced sound. Taking some of its cues from Cave’s recent ‘Grinderman‘ side project and some of the wild border country atmospherics of his soundtrack work with Bad Seed Warren Ellis, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! is markedly more upbeat but no more compromising for that. Murky and apocalyptic, the album features extended semi-spoken rants from Cave over spooked, often complex arrangements of angular guitars, organs, rattly percussion and ominous basslines. There’s something of Tom Waits or even Tricky about some of the ambience and arrangements, the Bad Seeds pulling out all the stops to create cinematic landscapes to Cave’s own tales of brawlers, bawlers and bastards (to quote Waits). Cave is a singular talent seemingly liberated by some of his recent tangents, but the Seeds almost steal the show here, each track a little movie reel in itself. Those looking for the classic Cave ballad might be put off by Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!‘s rawness of mood and mildly pornographic lyrics, but no-one can complain with songs as strong as ‘Jesus Of The Moon’ or ‘Midnight Man’. It’s not supposed to be like this, rock stars (or whatever you call someone like Nick Cave) aren’t meant to hit career highs in their fifties, making some of their most innovative and evocative music fourteen albums in.