Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (Cover Artwork)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (2008)
Anti- Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Last year's Grinderman was promised to be a rock 'n' roll Nick Cave. And fittingly so. Cave abandoned his name on the marquee, stripped down the Bad Seeds to just a couple other guys, and forged ahead into a noisy, three-chord territory. But the simplicity of rock 'n' roll got muddled with something.
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Last year's Grinderman was promised to be a rock 'n' roll Nick Cave. And fittingly so. Cave abandoned his name on the marquee, stripped down the Bad Seeds to just a couple other guys, and forged ahead into a noisy, three-chord territory. But the simplicity of rock 'n' roll got muddled with something that seemed like extreme minimalism in comparison to the bombast and gospel choirs on his last effort, Abbatoir Blues & the Lyre of Orpheus. This year's Bad Seeds effort, however, makes up for the half-baked Grinderman.

Fully embracing straight ahead rock 'n' roll with an avant-noise edge layered on top, songs like "Lie Down Here and Be My Girl" and "Albert Goes West" show a strong correlation to dark, fuzzy '80s rock. Cave flirts with soul and gospel arrangments again on "Moonland." "Jesus of the Moon," however, calls up a more nostalgic, piano-driven approach to Cave's writing, focusing on desperate melodies and creating a foundation for Cave's creepy croon forecasting some sort of doom. But the overall tone hits much closer to junkyard rock when you start surveying the album as a whole.

The opener and title track, "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!" plays the bass, guitar and organ off of each other on an angular riff while the drums plunk away in steady rhythms behind everything. Cave spouts off a near-spoken word delivery of his lyrics, telling a story of a modern day Lazarus-messiah figure, all the while the instruments fizzing and howling in the background, clanking with auxiliary percussion. The same formula applies to "Today's Lesson" and "We Call Upon the Author," banging out clang after clang of herky jerky rhythms with a more traditional song format than Cave fans are used to. While the arrangements and compositions are spot on, the lasting effect is a batch of sloppy, sleazy rock songs.

"Hold on to Yourself" stands out as an uptempo, soft acoustic ballad, sounding like the soundtrack to a modern day western with its electric guitar solos layering on top of the band building in intensity from a single acoustic guitar. "More News from Nowhere" is a near-eight-minute-long, droning rock song. If I was cooler, and would have written this review earlier, I might have compared it to "Sister Ray" by the Velvet Underground, telling an abstract story about sexual exploits over a droning rock 'n' roll track. But I was beaten to it by prompt and timely reviewers. Still, I think that sums it up the best.

The album is a bit jarring for what most people might have been expecting, but I keep coming back for more. It's got that X factor of replayability. The flaws are few and far between, and although I could giver or take the experimental drone of "Night of the Lotus Eaters," I think this album just might be worth the wait.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!"


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Cos (April 18, 2008)

I'm completely unfamiliar with Nick Cave (spare me your slings and arrows!) and I fucking love this album. The title track's gotta good hook and the rest of it doesn't disappoint. On to "Let Love In" I guess.

theyounginfluential (April 17, 2008)

fuckinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn so good, best of 2008 so far fo' sho

WeKnowWhereYouSleep (April 16, 2008)

The way he looks (and dances) in this video makes me feel like he should be trying to sell me a used car. Ditch the 'stache. Good song though.

TheMike (April 15, 2008)


Brilliant song / performance. This is from Tender Prey, I believe...

spoon_of_grimbo (April 15, 2008)

i'm liking the song you've posted the video for! it reminds me of one of the songs from the "RFTC" album by rocket from the crypt, i think it might be "you gotta move." good stuff though, i might look into getting this album.

branden (April 15, 2008)

i started with murder ballads. its good and creepy, not a bad place to start from my experience.

DrGunn (April 15, 2008)

either let love in or tender prey would be a great start. or alternatively, a birthday party album (possibly "hits").

sugarfull (April 15, 2008)

Nick Cave is an awesome vocalist, but I personally liked Birthday Party a hell of a lot better.

24HourPriapism (April 15, 2008)

highly intrigued by nick cave, but haven't really heard anything he's done other than one collaboration he did with johnny cash (on the unearthed box set), and maybe something by grinderman i might've inadvertantly clicked into on youtube. where would be a good start?

TheMike (April 15, 2008)

I agree with Branden, the backing vocals in "Lie Down Here..." are pretty weak. That's the only song I'm not too fond of, though. "Midnight Man" could have been a little better, and "Albert goes West" wasn't perfect, but those are decent songs. The rest of the album is solid.

DrGunn (April 15, 2008)

i'm stoked about this, nick's consistency is astounding. the single is great and i for one loved the grinderman record, and nick's claim that this "sounds like grinderman" just makes me more excited.

mattbeall (April 15, 2008)

"We Call Upon the Author" is fucking awesome. "Prolix! Prolix! Something a pair of scissors can fix!"

"More News From Nowhere" rules too. God, I love Nick Cave's writing style.

branden (April 15, 2008)

the title track sounds like louie louie, i love it. parts of the album kinda let me down though, like the weak backing vocals on be my girl and the occasional blase adult singer/songwriter melody. but overall way better than the loo/ab. that album sucked asshole.

preston (April 15, 2008)

This shit is for real.

TheMike (April 15, 2008)

I really like this album. "More News From Nowhere", "Hold On To Yourself" and "Night of The Lotus Eaters" are my favourites.

osloboditelj (April 15, 2008)

Good review, absolutely correct score. This is one of the best releases of the year thus far, and Cave's best in a long time.

baseball (April 15, 2008)

Good review, makes me want to check this out. I have not heard this band.

the_ken_chin_imposter (April 15, 2008)

A new Nick Cave album is something I never spend a lot of time in anticipation for, but am always really happy when it comes out. Chalk this up on the list of records I need to listen to next week when I finish school.

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