Grinderman 2 - Grinderman
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 100
    While many of Cave and Co.'s albums celebrate redemption and salvation after an emotional battering, Grinderman 2 is about release, musically and otherwise – what else would you expect from a photo of a rabid wolf about to piss on then or tear a hole in someone in an opulent house?!
  2. If this isn't an instant classic, it's only because it takes some time (and ears) to appreciate.
  3. 90
    Throughout Grinderman 2, the guitars and violins pant and howl with a visceral, veteran's swagger. Late middle age has never sounded so thrilling.
  4. Almost everything here boils down to Cave's perennial concerns of sex and violence, rather than any Dark Lord of rock'n'roll stuff, coming loaded with lines to make even the most grave-faced goth chortle into their gruel.
  5. For what it sets out to do, it's damn near perfect, and what higher praise is there than that?
  6. Grinderman 2's variety and complexity never feels like a reach, and doesn't keep the album from cohering beautifully.
  7. Cave dials down the fiercely vivid imagery for a stark meditation on sex and death that leaves almost everything to the listener's imagination, accompanied by little more than the crackle of static.
  8. Cave's skill at crafting work drenched with the blood and tears of human flaws remains unparalleled, and makes Grinderman 2 an essential rock and roll document.
  9. Cave and Co. have moved further toward balancing their Grinderman skuzz with Bad Seeds sophistication-which means it's not always as bust-you-up-on-the-barstool fun, but it's still a sleazy good time.
  10. Like much of Cave's work, there is an ominous sense of dread always creeping. But unlike previous work, there's a speed and intensity to Grinderman 2 unheard before.
  11. Mar 20, 2012
    80
    A quality accompaniment and memorial.
  12. The devil be praised that, rather than visiting the shrink or brothel to deal with his sexual dysfunction, the Grinderman went to the studio instead.
  13. Grinderman 2 features the band stronger and more wonderfully unrefined and unrestrained than ever. [Summer 2010, p.79]
  14. Grinderman is a living, breathing beast, not a side project, but a tangible band capable of sparking off in different directions.
  15. The rest of us will succumb happily to Grinderman's sick skill and wonder why rebel teens don't make dangerous, dastardly rock'n'roll like this anymore.
  16. 80
    Grinderman 2 finds the group continuing their musical voyage inot the id. [Oct. 2010, p. 91]
  17. 80
    The blues remain a touchstone--the album's first line is "Woke up this Morning"--but Grinderman 2 prefers to prowl rock's perimeter with Amon Duul II, Suicide and contemporary drone practitioners like Wooden Shjips. [Oct 2010, p.86]
  18. While it's easy to see why some listeners may prefer the completely unhinged sounds of Grinderman's debut, this set, with its expansive sonics and studied bombast, is still full of so much adrenaline, nastiness, and rock & roll sleaze that it stands in its own league and kicks serious ass.
  19. Where Grinderman 2 does possess unique ace is its skillfully employed shot of psychedelia. [Oct 2010, p.102]
  20. While he certainly has the ability to rage in a Mel-Gibson-esque blow-me-while -I-burn-the-house-down style, Cave brings enough grace and reticence to the songs, making the proceedings even more sinister. [Oct 2010, p.113]
  21. Songs rampage from garage swamp blues to psychedelic Stooges rock. Guitarist Warren Ellis's bouzouki makes sounds you'd expect in an abattoir, not a studio. There are some terrific songs--notably the sublime Palaces of Montezuma and the epic, apocalyptic Bellringer Blues.
  22. Cave drops brilliantly funny lines throughout, and his enthusiasm for this project is palpable.
  23. Indeed, Grinderman 2 is actually a far more listen-able record, with far more replay value, and this is what I'll remember when I find myself nostalgic for the dumb simplicity of the first album.
  24. Grinderman 2 proves that this bunch of hirsute, middle-aged reprobates are making some of the most unsettling-yet-addictive rock music of the age. [25 Sep 2010, p.52]
  25. As entertaining as it is, there remains a nagging notion that Grinderman 2 is ultimately another water-testing exercise to decide upon which seas Nick Cave will sail the full Bad Seeds line-up when it next reconvenes – now sadly minus Mick Harvey – in the studio.
  26. Profane, lecherous, loaded with head-trip tape loops and guitars that sound like power tools melting in the sun, this is late-night, howl-at-the-moon-outside-the-punk-club stuff.
  27. For all it's blunt-force heft and energy, Grinderman 2's true success comes in the feeling that, for all its size, the band is still holding something back.
  28. The album's M.O. is summed up by the title of its shortest whirlwind: "Evil." It feels good to be this bad.
  29. Jan 11, 2011
    70
    Cave's noisy, dentist-drill guitar work is still prominently featured, but occasionally it takes on pedal-warped psychedelic tones as the songs stretch out beyond the band's typical garage-rock template.
  30. Dec 21, 2010
    70
    Grinderman 2 follows with more of a racket, still the full-throttle guitar-driven rock meant to separate men from boys.
  31. Grinderman 2 goes a long way towards solidifying this four-man Bad Seeds mash-up as a distinctive musical act, even as it brings them closer to their parent band's wheelhouse.
  32. 70
    Grinderman 2 is a great album by most standards. By Nick Cave's standards, however, the man responsible for Prayers on Fire, No More Shall We Part and even the first Grinderman record, it doesn't quite live up to its promise.
  33. Free jazz indie rock? John Zorn might approve. Shards of corrosive woodshedding imbedded at every angle, Grinderman 2 sequels the lashing 2007 debut by Nick Cave's Bad Seeds satellite quartet.
  34. Mar 27, 2012
    60
    Grinderman 2 RMX provides an enjoyable enough distraction but ultimately this is a collection of material that would have worked better as an EP rather than an album.
  35. Mar 16, 2012
    60
    A who's who of re-mixers have been cast for the job, and there's value in finding their take on Nick Cave's already unique sound.
  36. The music veers between between a kind of funk slop with trippy organ squelches and good ol' fashioned rawk with biblical overtones, It feels a little like drowning in a bath of Jack Daniels, but not in a good way. [Sep 2010, p.53]
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Sep 16, 2010
    10
    only cave, after turning 50, could howl like a mad wolf in a rock and roll album and not sound utterly ridiculous... only cave could surpass his own previous work with the bad seeds with something even darker... i mean, is this guy for real?! Full Review »
  2. Apr 24, 2012
    8
    I guess now is a good time to review Grinderman's 2nd album now that their remix for this album was recently released. Personally, I really like this band. They're a fairly hardcore rock band with plenty of edge, their songwriting is strong, and they still have surprises up their sleeves to separate them for you standard rock band. The mission statement for this album "Mickey Mouse and The Goodbye Man" is excellent. It may be the best song on the album. The opening riff is pretty damn catchy, and as soon as Nick Cave starts off his first verse saying "I woke up this morning and I thought what am I doing?" the song grabbed me. It's not a groundbreaking lyric, but Cave delivers it with plenty of conviction and he sounds like he MEANS it, or at the very least MEANT it. As the song grows, Cave tells the story of his brother who is a lot of trouble and has law enforcement searching for him. After the first verse the band turns the volume up to 10 and jam like nobodies business. This leads into the 2nd verse where Cave shows off his humor when describing his brothers paranoia that the rattling locks to their hotel room is probably from the cops. Once again, Cave's delivery is what helps make his lyrics. The following two tracks "Worm Tamer" and "Heathen Child" are pretty decent, nothing great. However the 4th track "When My Baby Comes" is my favorite track. It's well over 6 minutes, and the first half sounds like nothing else on the album. Cave's singing is backed up heavily by strings rather than guitars or drums. It's surprisingly soothing, but at the half way point the song completely changes, and the 2nd half is nothing but a heavy (and ear worm catchy) riff. I wish there were more moments like this on the album. The rest of the album is fairly straight forward, but that doesn't mean there aren't other strong tracks. "What I Know" is a laid back acoustic track and is a nice bridge between "When My Baby Comes" and the hectic "Evil". "Palaces of Montezuma" is great and is without question the closest thing Grinderman will ever come to making a love song, and the album closer "Bellringer Blues" has some great guitar work. The album does have it's low points though. It's safe to say that Grinderman is fairly dark, and some times it's just a little too dark. In "Worm Tamer" Cave sings to his girlfriend/wife/lover about how he can't go on in the relationship because he has loved her for too long. It's a pretty lame excuse similar to "It's not you, it's me". It's fairly generic, and it's pretty difficult to be in a mood where I feel like listening to that song. Same thing for "Kitchenette" which would be a better song if Cave wasn't singing to a married woman, talking down on her husband in an attempt to convince her to sleep with him. Once again... I'm rarely in the mood to hear a song like that. Those are fairly minor quibbles though. Overall there are plenty of strong songs on this 9 track LP, and it's a very solid album. Full Review »
  3. Oct 13, 2010
    9
    Different enough from Grinderman I to reassure me there is a future to this band. I have listened to it every day since release and I think it hangs together as an album better than the first and more so than any recent Bad Seeds record. Full Review »