Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ fourteeth studio album sees him ploughing that not unfamiliar furrow of biblical characters, garage rock and dark humour. “Lazarus” is dug up and moved to New York where he descends in dope, prison and back into the grave, naturally the song explores the ambiguity of the title’s “dig”.
But it’s not all swaggering rock, “Moonland” with the bittersweet, “…the snow provides silent cover// & I’m not your favourite lover/ I turn on the radio// & it must feel nice/ o very very nice to know// that somebody needs you…” is dreamy in tone with laid-back but rhythmic bass. A mood taken a notch swampier in “The Night of the Lotus Eaters”. “We Call Upon the Author” contrasts, with its more preacherly tone insisting that there’s “nothing a pair of scissors can’t fix.” No one does the post-party atmosphere of “Midnight Man” better than Nick Cave.
He’s confidently doing what he’s always done best and still makes it an interesting listen. If you remember “Tender Prey”, you’ll like this. If you’re looking for “Grinderman” part 2, this will be too slow and too blues-influenced.