Review: Grinderman’s 2 RMX

Grinderman: 2 RMXGrinderman: 2 RMX (Anti-, 4/17/12)

“Evil (Silver Alert Remix f. Matt Berninger)”

[audio:|titles=Grinderman: “Evil (Silver Alert feat. Matt Berninger)”]

It’s not an obvious idea to remix Nick Cave. His status as a musical icon seems to discourage the thought that his manic tales of depravity can be improved or successfully altered. But Grinderman’s 2 RMX — damn, does it work well. From A Place to Bury Strangers’ post-punk rendition of “Worm Tamer” to the spooky, shamanistic vibe of “Evil” by Silver Alert (Grinderman’s Jim Sclavunos) and The National’s Matt Berninger, it’s a surprise to find a style so distinct that’s also so versatile. Grinderman is ripe for experimentation.

Nearly every track from Grinderman 2 — the second album from the most recent and heavily lauded Nick Cave side project — gets the remix treatment, featuring artists as diverse as guitarist Robert Fripp (“Super Heathen Child”) to Yeah Yeah YeahsNick Zinner (“Bellringer Blues”).

As always, remixes can consist of extensive, eye-opening reinterpretations or superficial tweaks. This album offers both. The most drastic and beautiful surprise is Cats Eyes’ rendition of “When My Baby Comes,” an epic and heart-rending song built from what was an acoustic blues tune and benefiting from Rachel Zeffira’s atmospheric vocals. The release also includes an original demo as well as mixes by Joshua Homme, Andrew Weatherall, and Barry Adamson.

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