Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Re-Issues
Mark Cousens dives straight in to the world of Nick Cave's last three releases...
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Re-Issues:
Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus
Dig Lazarus Dig!!!
Back in 2010 Nick & The Bad Seeds started the process of re-releasing their back catalogue. Remastered, repackaged and ripe for re-evaluation the re-releases continued in 2011, and now the Grandfathers of Aussie gothic rock are about unleash the final set of re-issues featuring Noctorama, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus and the band’s last release, 2008’s Dig Lazarus Dig!!!.
Nocturama received a resounding ‘meh’ from critics on its release in 2003 and was widely regarded as one of the band’s weaker albums. Nonetheless it contained some storming tracks including ballad ‘Wonderful Life’ the dirty blues of ‘Bring It On’ and the album’s magnum opus, the astonishing 15 minute long ‘Babe I’m On Fire’. It was also the last studio album to include Blixa Bargfeld who left the band shortly after its release. The re-issued package includes the promos for ‘Bring It On’ and ‘Babe I’m On Fire’, as well as an interview with all the Bad Seeds and various others but not the man himself. There’s also several extra tracks including the piano ballad ‘Little Ghost Song’ and the rather lovely ‘Shoot Me Down’ which sounds closer to ‘No More Shall We Part’ than ‘Nocturama’.
Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus fared much better at the hands of the critics and came in a double CD package. The first a full on blues drenched rocker and the second a much more considered and restrained. Of the two CDs the highlight comes at the end of The Lyre of Orpheus in the form of the sinister ‘O Children ‘. As for extras you get a mixture of interviews with key personnel, extra tracks and promo videos as well as recordings in stereo and 5.1 surround.
To the last of the releases, Dig Lazarus Dig!!! As you listen through Nocturama and Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus you can sense Cave and his Bad Seeds getting restless and feeling the need to crank up the amps, hit the overdrive pedals and rock out, and the culmination of that is right here. The bands fourteenth album was a stunning return to the form of earlier albums. Not entirely dissimilar to side project Grinderman, it found the band in apocalyptic garage rock mode with Cave taking on the role of a psychopathic preacher man. Most notably on ‘We Call Upon the Author’, in which Cave clearly delights in flexing his lyrical muscles.
The videos are great to watch and extra tracks are always welcome to a completest. It is disappointing that the man himself doesn’t appear in any of the interview videos, but overall this a nicely packaged collection of re-issues so if you’ll excuse me I’m off to the local record shop!