VICAR ST, Dublin
Nick Cave (below) is best known as the master of the romantic piano ballad, authoring classics such 'The Ship Song' and 'Are You The One I've Been Waiting For?'.
Before forming the Bad Seeds in 1983, Cave's first musical love was the furious racket of The Birthday Party; a violent sound clash of post-punk, blues, free jazz and prototype goth rock that defined avant-garde Australian punk.
Grinderman sees Cave return to his roots with some quite spectacular results.
Essentially, this is a slimmed-down version of the core members of the Bad Seeds, yet sounding absolutely nothing like them. Grinderman look and sound like a band set free and allowed to freely roam in their new noise-rock playpen.
Kicking off with the primal blues of 'Mickey Mouse' and the 'Goodbye Man', Cave straps on a guitar and isn't afraid to use it.
For 'Worm Tamer', he returns to familiar demented rock 'n' roll preacher mode, leaning into the front row while belting out dark, twisted yet hilarious lyrics such as, "My baby calls me the Loch Ness monster. Two humps and I'm gone."
Warren Ellis is the band's heart of darkness, alternating between guitar, violin and mind-melting tape loops. During 'Evil', he even performs backing vocals lying on his back and kicking the air.
The opening night of their European tour is a complete blast and Cave and his cohorts look like they're having the time of their lives.
Sadly, it seems to be over in a flash, as they only have two studio albums to date.
However, Grinderman certainly isn't some airy-fairy side project designed to kill downtime between Bad Seeds albums, but a stunning full-blooded rock 'n' roll animal in its own right.