Album – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Posted by admin on April 9th, 2008

Nick Cave was one of those characters that quite frankly scared the bejesus out of me. Rational, maybe not, but sometimes you just get that air of something not quite right. I’m sure underneath it all he’s quite a likeable chap. However musically, it’s his mix of the dark and sardonic, that has held me at arms length. There have been brief forays, though. Actually in all honesty, I’ve only ever felt the need to purchase one of his albums and that was the 1994 release, Let Love In. I bought that for one specific track, “Do You Love Me”, which managed to really get under my skin during a mellowing out session with a friend, watching MTV all night. To give you an idea of the kind of night that was, besides the Nick Cave song, the other track that became almost an obsession was “Little Star” by Stina Nordenstaum. When you compare the two tracks, you’ll see what an extraordinary night it was. Any way I digress.

Apart from the one album, the only other real thing that caught my eye, was the track he released with fellow antipodean, Kylie Minogue, “Where the Wild Roses Grow”. An interesting diversion, but not really my cup of tea. And so we come to today. My friends over at Anti, previously sent me the album by Grinderman, another Nick Cave offshoot. While the voice of Nick is unmistakable, for me it was just too raw and sprawling to enjoy. When this latest release hit my inbox, again from Anti, it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I put it into the CD player.

The title track “Dig, Lazurus, Dig” greets you first and it won me over immediately with it’s mix of dark, emotionally charged vocals, with a hint of Jim Morrison and a driving beat. Nicks vocals are unmistakable, but there is an eloquence in them that I haven seen in a while, or maybe it’s just listening to them with friendly ears. So far all the chemistry is right, great opening track, which indeed is the title track and something I love, a title track that really shapes your expectations from the offing. “Today’s Lesson” has a much looser and melodic sound, but there’s still that quirk that lies underneath like a foundation on which all the tracks seem to resolutely adhere to.

“Night of the Locus Eaters” is an interesting track. Whilst I’m a huge fan of repetition, this one takes it to a whole new level. My brain kept yelling at me that this was a boring, monotonous track, but my heart fell in love with it. If you ask me why, I’d be buggered if I can tell you, but there’s that mesmerizing, hypnotic quality that just sucks you in. “Jesus of the Moon”, is a mellower track and indeed one of the shorter on the album. It has a very similar makeup to a few of the tracks on the album, but here with a twist of something more melodic.

“Midnight Man”, takes a slightly different turn, with it’s almost 60’s psychedelic sound. Thrown in the pot with Nicks vocals, and the result is something quite interesting, and fairly distinct from the rest of the album. “More News from Nowhere”, wraps up this 11 track album, with nearly eight minutes of classic Cave.

I’m so thankful sometimes that I work with some amazing labels and PR companies, that seems to know my tastes sometimes better than I do. While I’ve never professed to be a big fan of Nicks music, there is enough here to turn me into a real convert. It’s certainly given me the impetus to go out and discover some of the albums I’ve missed.

Conclusion : A wonderful album with which to reconnect with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. 14 years since my last dalliance, bur I’m certain it’s not going to be that long next time. A good solid and well constructed album, that contains a somewhat black heart with a scorching burning ember.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>