One of my very least favorite Nick Cave albums (imho it's better than the Grinderman stuff but not by a lot). After the great Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus album and a fantastic "solo" (essentially Grinderman before they were Grinderman) show I saw in Den Haag I was looking forward to a new Bad Seeds album. I was disappointed, and the show on the DLD tour I saw (Denver) was easily the worst Cave show I'd ever seen. If I wasn't a bit of a completist I'd probably have skipped buying this album again.
Having said that, the 5.1 mix improves on the album quite a bit. A lot of the noise and stuff that Warren Ellis does is nicely spread into the rears and makes the record sound a lot less cluttered. The good songs on the album (DLD, We Call Upon, Jesus of the Moon, More News From Nowhere) are even more enjoyable now, and the weaker songs are improved with the mix. Still it's not going to be a fave Cave for me but I'll play it a little more often than I did the original stereo disc (which has not come off the shelf in about 4 years).
A day-glo bible study in redemption rock, it's time once again to testify except the quiet church of rest we visited on Nocturama has been replaced by the pop art angular splendour of Elvis' Comeback Special Chapel set. It's beautifully recorded and mixed with full and rewarding surround use. Again I'm only hearing a plain DTS stream (like Nocturama and Abattoir/Lyre) but I don't feel like I'm missing too much. There is fine detail in the vocals and the crisp and airy percussion whilst vicious bass grooves leer suggestively.
Thematically it's all one big sex-death-god-booze glam stomp, the Bad Seeds as Apocalyptic horsemen to Ol' Nick himself astride the pale horse. The super-dry death rattle mix of 'Night of the Lotus Eaters' generates a thirst only bourbon could extinguish. The whirling garage rock pomp of 'Albert Goes West' delivers a superb creamy lead guitar line to cut against the sweet harmonies careening around the mix. Entropic hammonds grind and stutter throughout and I'm always happy to fall back into the sound of the whole band really enjoying themselves. It's the lighter side of the Bad Seeds, believe it or not, with plenty of broad homage given to their influences and new listeners to Nick Cave could do worse than to start with track seven - 'Hold On To Yourself'. An aural supercut of every great Italian western or an open love letter to Tarantino and Morricone. A minor modern gem. 9.
NB - I'd always wondered what Bob's kitty was listening to and it turns out it's "More News From Nowhere'
Kind of front heavy mix. Some acoustic guitar & tasty electronics from the surrounds.
I love it: "Sounds like something you might hear on Iggy Pop's Idiot album.
There's plenty of odd noises and lewd organs that suggest some sort of twisted take on 1960s psych and garage rock. Cave and the Seeds kick out the jams, kick in the Doors"