Nick Cave Returns With Nocturama
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' 12th studio album, Nocturama, due for release
on Feb. 3, 2003, finds the brooding rock-poet revisiting the furious sound
of the early Bad Seeds. "Nocturama" is a "place where the night animals
live," Cave is quoted as saying on his official Web site, Nick Cave Online.
Australian singer/songwriter Cave, who has recorded a series of gothic
post-punk albums with his band, the Bad Seeds, is set to release three
albums over the next three years. All will be on Mute Records
internationally, with at least the first on Anti/Epitaph in the U.S. During
the past few years, Anti/Epitaph has released albums by such living legends
as Tom Waits, Merle Haggard and Solomon Burke; it's a division of the punk
label Epitaph, which scored a huge success with The Offspring during the
Nocturama was co-produced by Nick Launay (Gang of Four, Talking Heads, The
Slits), who first worked with Cave in 1981 when he produced the Birthday
Party's single, "Release the Bats." The album was recorded in just seven
days in early 2002 at SingSing studios in Melbourne, Australia.
Cave has been recording since the early '80s ? first as vocalist/songwriter
for the Birthday Party and then, beginning in 1983, as leader of Nick Cave
and the Bad Seeds. He's released more than a dozen albums (including a live
album and a soundtrack), the most recent of which was 2001's No More Shall
We Part. With the release of 1997's The Boatman's Call, Cave began
distancing himself from a self-consciously theatrical approach to
songwriting and performances, and delivered some of the most affecting
songs of his career. "The Mercy Seat," off 1988's Tender Prey, was covered
by Johnny Cash on his album American 3: Solitary Man.
According to the official Nick Cave Web site, while Nocturama continues the
direct musical and lyrical expressions of The Boatman's Call and No More
Shall We Part, it also marks a return to the fire-and-brimstone hardcore
sound that has been Cave's trademark. The raucous "Dead Man in My Bed" sees
Cave writing in character, and the 15-minute closer, "Babe, I'm on Fire,"
is reportedly as explosive as anything in Bad Seeds history. The album also
includes such tender ballads as "There Is a Town" and "Wonderful Life."
There are currently no plans for Cave to mount a full-scale world tour next
year; instead he intends to focus on recording and releasing albums and
will play scattered dates. - Ryan DeGama [Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2002]