The sleeve always looks to me like the contents of Nick Cave's brain around the era of 1982. This was the final album by his art rock scuzz collective the Birthday Party and sees them sorta trying to weld the Stooges and Captain Beefheart together whilst taking copious amounts of drugs. A brutal and skewed album which was way ahead of its time in producing uncompromising sludge and primal racket.
Vinyl Double LP £19.69 Cad3223
180g vinyl repress of classic LP + CD + bonus 7".
CD £7.99 GAD207CD
CD on 4AD.
Well it’s good to see this back on vinyl! This deluxe reissue not only has the entire LP but also a bonus 7” and a CD with all the tracks from both records. Nice! It probably doesn’t need a lot of introducing but I’ll jump at an opportunity to say some nice things about this one, ‘cause these guys are where a lot of stuff started.
The Birthday Party’s dirty, confrontational, sleaze-blues represents the natural conclusion of rock’n’roll as a concept, taking the blown out nihilism of the Stooges’ ‘Funhouse’ and blending it with a spidery, intense post-punk minimalism, with thin, trebly guitars and seething, surging, sex-spattered repeato blues grooves over which a fledgling Nick Cave spat his furious animalistic invective, paving the way for a barrage of disciples in the USA from the U-Men to Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard to Big Black.It’s to their credit that even 30 years later this LP sounds coruscatingly intense and raw and aggressive in a way that few bands since have come close to. A true classic, worthy of a place in any music lover’s collection not only for its historical importance but more importantly its sheer unhinged shrieking brilliance.
10/10 Ross Holloway 4th November 2014
One of the many amazing things about this album is its utterly visceral presence - it basically walks out of the speakers and gives the listener a kick in the head with its pointy-toed cowboy booted feet.
This is the last Birthday Party record to feature jazzy swing of Phill Calvert's drumming, and also the last to feature significant writing contributions from the late great Rowland S Howard. As wonderful as the 2 Birthday Party EPs (The Bad Seed and Mutiny) that followed this were and are, I'd argue that they were the Birthday Party transforming into Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, whereas this is the Birthday Party, The Stooges inspired, surreal and grotesque Australian shit-kickers led by both Nick and Rowland on their greatest ever form.
All the expected tropes are present and correct, the demented sexuality of Kiss Me Black, Jesus in Big Jesus Trash Can, junk in the Junkyard, and sin and redemption in Several Sins. Tracey Pews's bass grinds at it's raunchiest, Howard's guitar fractures in squalls of feedback, Nick embodies the demented primal scream of young manhood, and Mick Harvey holds the whole thing together as ever.
It's avante-garde ART in big letters, it's PUNK AS FUCK in big letters, and it made Iggy proclaim Nick Cave as his successor as God's Garbageman. What more do you want?
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