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CD Review: Grinderman - "Grinderman II"

Nick Cave''s Grinderman''s latest has an extra helping of sinister savagery

Grinderman
Grinderman II
Mute/Anti



When the first Grinderman record hit in 2007, it seemed to signal a kind of second (or third . . . or fourth) adolescence for Nick Cave. Working with Bad Seeds Warren Ellis and Martyn Casey and former Sonic Youth drummer Jim Sclavunos, Grinderman achieved a raw, stripped-down rock ensemble sound that felt like the Birthday Party (Cave’s first band of note) revisited 20 years down the line and trading numbers with a faded bar band covering Tonight’s the Night and Nebraska.

On Grinderman II there’s a little bit less of the blues balladry and an extra helping of the sinister savagery—thanks in large part to the chainsaw- buzzing and horror film-slashing guitar of Warren Ellis. A longtime Cave conspirator, Ellis seems to have a telepathic sense for punctuating Cave’s city-cool, punk-preacher verses—a facility on plain display on the opening cut “Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man” and “Heathen Child.” Ellis’s tones are grotesque and delicious, peppered with grinding fuzz and positively filthy wah sweeps and dashes that makes a perfect sonic picture of Grinderman’s wonderfully lecherous, sleazy, leering miscreant persona. Nastiness!

While Annie Clark was named the 26th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023, she couldn’t care less about impressing an athletic stamp on either her sound or her image.


Photo by Alex Da Corte

On her eighth studio release, the electroacoustic art-rock guitarist and producer animates an extension of the strange and singular voice she’s been honing since her debut in 2007.

“Did you grow up Unitarian?” Annie Clark asks me. We’re sitting in a control room at Electric Lady Studios in New York’s West Village, and I’ve just explained my personal belief system to her, to see if Clark, aka St. Vincent, might relate and return the favor. After all, does she not possess a kind of sainthood worth inquiring about?

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U.S.-made electronics and PRS’s most unique body profile make this all-American S2 a feast of tones at a great price.

Many sonic surprises. Great versatility. Excellent build quality

The pickup selector switch might be in a slightly awkward position for some players.

$2,029

PRS S2 Vela
prsguitars.com

4.5
5
5
4.5

Since its introduction in 2013, PRS’s S2 range has worked to bridge the gap between the company’s most affordable and most expensive guitars. PRS’s cost-savings strategy for the S2 was simple. The company fitted U.S.-made bodies and necks, built using the more streamlined manufacturing processes of PRS’s Stevensville 2 facility, with Asia-made electronics from the SE line.

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A Gibson Explorer (left) and a Dean Z model.

In a legal battle over guitar body designs between Gibson and Dean, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 5th circuit has ruled that Dean has the right to appeal an earlier decision by a Texas court, ordering Dean to stop selling guitars that Gibson says infringed on its iconic body shapes.

In a legal battle over guitar body designs between Gibson and Dean, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 5th circuit has ruled that Dean has the right to re-try an earlier decision by a Texas court, ordering Dean to stop selling guitars that allegedly infringed on longtime Gibson body shapes, including Dean’s V and Z Series instruments, according to a report in Bloomberg Law published on Tuesday.

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Slash's Blues Ball Band Rig Rundown
Rig Rundown: Slash's Blues Ball Band with Tash Neal

The rock ’n’ roll icon brings his blues-rockin’ Orgy of The Damned to the people headlining the S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Blues Festival tour.

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