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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Junkyard

The Birthday Party

1982

Junkyard

Album Summary

Junkyard is the third studio album by Australian post-punk group The Birthday Party. It was released on 10 May 1982 by Missing Link Records in Australia and by 4AD in the UK. It was the group's last full-length studio recording. It has received critical acclaim.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.15

Votes

5039

Genres

  • Punk
  • Rock
Reviews
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View Author
Wed May 18 2022
2

Idk man, if you played this at my birthday party I would probably not invite you next year

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Nick Cave’s first band. A wild, off-the-wall take on post punk, goth rock and punk blues with screeching guitars, pumping bass and wailing vocals. Nick is completely insane here. I actually prefer their record Prayers on Fire to this one but I like this one. The global stats do not. This record is surely not for everyone. Favorite song: Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow) Least favorite song: 6” Gold Blade

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Thu May 06 2021
1

I'm glad I was baby in the 80's and couldn't listen to this music.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

4.7 + hits you like an ice pick to the temple or oozes on like a bucket of swamp sludge.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

Never listened before and I loved it!

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Jangly discordant post-punk! Young Nick Cave tries to emulate Tom Waits. I really liked this, but can see why it scores low, I guess. "Pere Ubu" have a similarly low scoring album, so jangly discordant post-punk obviously rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Fave track - "She's Hit"

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Thu Oct 01 2020
3

This is one of those albums that sounds like its cover. It has the atmosphere of walking down a back alley full of deranged bums at night, and I mean that in the best possible way. It's the saying "I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it" in musical form. It's the kind of thing that Lou Reed probably wished he had made. That being said, it's a bit too wacky to go in my regular rotation, although I'd definitely bring it out on Halloween, or after a Fearnet binge if Fearnet still existed. Best song: Hamlet (Pow Pow Pow), which reminds me of the "The killer awoke before dawn" part of The End.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
1

I respect Nick Cave but this ain't it chief. A really angry and worse Joy Division. Almost unlistenable as a whole.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Very dark and noisy. Not sure if the timeline is correct to guess that Cave was influenced by Tom Waits, but that was what I was hearing. I have difficulty hearing the blues roots here, except on a rare few songs. Favorite song was She's Hit, least favorite is Kewpie Doll.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

This album is naaaasty, its rude, mean, loud, and just weird. Pretty cool listen, will definitely come back

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Fri Apr 09 2021
3

The Party's second and final full studio album, also the final release with the five-person lineup, was perhaps its scuzzy masterpiece, its art/psych/blues/punk fusion taken to at times outrageous heights. Right from its start, nobody held back on anything, Cave's now-demonic vocals in full roar while the rest of the players revamped rhythm & blues and funk into a blood-soaked cabaret exorcism. Nearly every tune is a Party classic one way or another, from the opening slow, sexy grind of "She's Hit," Cave's freaked tale of death and destruction matched by clattering percussion and a perversely crisp guitar from Howard, to the ending title track's crawl toward a last gruesome ending. Tips of the hat to literary influences surface at points, notably "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)," though the protagonist isn't so much the indecisive tragic figure of Shakespeare as a Romeo-quoting criminal on the loose. The ultimate Party song sits smack dab at the center -- "Big-Jesus-Trash-Can," a hilarious and blasphemous blues/jazz show tune with some great brass from Harvey to top it all off. Guest performers crop up at points; future Bad Seed Barry Adamson plays bass on "Kiss Me Black," while Anita Lane contributes two sets of lyrics if not her direct vocals. Later CD versions included three extra tracks. "Blast Off" and "Release the Bats" were originally issued as a single; both seethe with rage and fire in spades. The latter is at once powerful and a bit of a tongue-in-cheek goth goof, with Cave serving up lines like "Don't tell me that it doesn't hurt/A hundred fluttering in your skirt." The other bonus, a second version of the album's "Dead Joe" recorded in London, is if anything even more frenetically gone than the original, a car crash sample punctuating the lyrical reference to same all the more.

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View Author
Fri Nov 05 2021
2

Ah, Nick Cave - one of my all-time favourites. His work from the last couple of decades is peerless, and the two live performances of his I've been to established him firmly in my mind as an elder statesman of rock. Emotive, fierce, quietly devastating... "Skeleton Tree", "Push the Sky Away" and "CARNAGE" are some of my favourite records by any artist. But this? Bloody hard work. The world of "The Birthday Party" is a brutal kind of post-punk where nothing holds together: mangled and torn, the world has turned in on itself and cannibals roam the streets. There is no logic, reason or narrative, just distorted nightmare imagery: one hundred skirts bleeding uptown; a car smash mangling bodies beyond recognition; Jesus driving a trash can; a gold blade in the head of a girl; being kissed black by a dog-like woman who sleeps like a swastika. The lyrics are a deep dive into the warped, violent poeticism that Cave has demonstrated throughout his career, and are the best thing about this album: they present its world in a vivid, intense, horrifying way. I have to give credit to the music for complimenting this and sounding suitably horrific, but for me it was just no fun whatsoever to listen to. There's very limited range in dynamics or delivery in each song to accentuate the lyrics, or to build any sense of momentum. Everything's relentlessly at the same level of demonic howls and apocalyptic crashing. There's no skill in musicianship to appreciate, certainly no guitar tabs to start looking up or vocal lines to sing in the shower. It all gets old very quickly, and by the time we reach "Several Sins", it's a shock to actually hear sung-through vocals, a distinct bass groove and sleazy guitar line. Being able to actually pinpoint and latch onto a tune is about as much as a listener can hope for from this. On the more positive side, "Junkyard" sits firmly outside of the trappings of the 80s and still sounds like it could be made in 2021 by a band pushing against the grain. In the UK today, plenty of up and coming bands like Squid, Shame or IDLES (shared the same producer as this album, incidentally) seem to be reaching for a slice or two of the Birthday Party's cake. My rating is being really skewed here by my respect for Nick Cave as an artist: he certainly committed to a vision here, and I admire The Birthday Party for not pulling any punches. But it was a real challenge to get through, and I like my music a little more palatable. Listening to this album makes me feel like a miserable old man who just doesn't get it. If that's my problem rather than The Birthday Party's, so be it.

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View Author
Thu Oct 21 2021
1

Fuck that

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View Author
Fri Dec 24 2021
4

Post-punk has never been so weird. The thing to note about early post-punk is that the only unifying trait is the will to experiment on the punk genre. This leads to a wide range of different artist, with some experimenting more than others. The Birthday Party, in this case, leads more into the experimental side. Junkyard sounds like a junkyard. It's rusty, malformed, and a little dangerous. If punk rock were a Ford Model T, post-punk would be a T-Bucket. The Birthday Party wants you to feel kinda gross listening to this, like punk blues that's been dragged through the mud. this is accentuated by Nick Cave's wild personality; he's like a rabid dog throughout. This wild energy makes the abrasive guitars all the more interesting, as you can imagine the band tearing up a live performance with their hypnotic sounds. It's definitely not for everyone, but I think it's awesome.

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View Author
Fri Aug 13 2021
3

This is wild as all fuck. Legitimately sounds like a band of demons from the depths of hell. I kinda dig parts of it? But mostly I just respect it for committing to being fuckin’ OUT THERE shit.

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Fri Apr 22 2022
3

That's a lot. Nick cave... A lot

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Thu Jun 23 2022
3

Ragged, rough, and rowdy.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
1

Kai tätäkin paskaa sit joku kuuntelee... minä en.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
1

This is the first time this has felt like a challenge. This is like if primus actually sucked.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
1

JFC

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Tue Jun 08 2021
1

Absolutely not.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
1

Couldn't make it past track 4

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Mon Oct 04 2021
1

This just sucks. I don't even really need to go into more detail than that. Everything about it is like nails on a chalkboard for me.

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Fri Nov 26 2021
1

Why? I don’t understand this as something musical.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
1

Excruciating

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View Author
Wed Dec 29 2021
1

Google started recommending therapists to me after I listened to this. Best track: She's Hit (??)

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Thu Jan 06 2022
1

God, what a chore to get through. These guys don't give a damn about anything, even their music, and why should I? I'll admit that the end of Hamlet (Pow Pow Pow), which repeats the same line about fifty times, achieved a sort of kaleidoscopic beauty in its repetition... but that's all I got. Mike Patton does this schtick 20x better. I was going to write that this sounds uncannily like Nick Cave without any skill whatsoever, and then I looked it up... That's EXACTLY what it is! Good thing he got better with age and practice.

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View Author
Thu Jan 06 2022
1

Sometimes I wonder how these albums got picked and if this is just a random album generator... Fewer than 4M stream total for this 1982 album and it's easy to understand why. Turning it off. Unlistenable. Horrible. This is supposed to be music?

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Wed Mar 09 2022
1

Jesus, it is unlistenable.

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Thu Mar 31 2022
1

Genuinely one of the worst 42 minutes I’ve sat through. Seriously. What. And I cannot emphasise this enough. The. Fuck?

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Thu May 05 2022
1

Australia's “most original band”? Maybe. “Least talented” seems a safer bet. Can you tell this book by its cover? You can.

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Wed May 11 2022
1

God awful. I actually find it offensive that this is taking up a spot on this list while most hip hop artists do not have a single album on here and others only have 1. Horrendous.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
1

Like, what the hell is this album doing here. I would be happy dead if i never listen to this.

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View Author
Sun Mar 28 2021
5

Que maluquice, achei uma delícia quase todas as músicas!!!

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Mon Nov 29 2021
5

Pretty good I love it.

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View Author
Wed Jun 08 2022
5

I FUCKING LOVE NICK CAGE FJWMILOPDHAGQJVB Every album I heard from him is a god dang banger while I did like Prayers on Fire a little more than this one, this is still simply amazing - 10/10

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

Rhythm on Kiss Me Black is crazy

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Thu Feb 24 2022
5

Birthday Party on parasta Cavea ja lisäksi parasta Rowland S. Howardia, jota muuten fanitan ISOSTI.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
4

Fantastic album, not Cave’s best but still highly recommended. 8.5/10

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

I don't fully understand post-punk. But this album had a lot of cool elements to it.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

Not on Spotify - tracked it down on YouTube. At first I was like .... what the hell is this? But as the album charged on I actually got excited wondering what was coming next. It felt like a live record with the amount of “urgency” in the instrumentation. I can tell they would have been fun to see live. I can definitely see more modern bands like Idles drawing a lot of influence from this. Fav tracks: “Big Jesus Trash Can” “Dead Joe”

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

A fun post punk album. It is clear to see where Nick Cave has come from, and I didn't even know this band existed.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
4

Uh, en tiiä onko Nick Cave -bias, minkä takia tähän keskittyi paremmin, mutta olipas hyvä. Vähän kuten Fugazilla, aggressiiviseen menoon saatu kivasti musakoukkuja ja tunnelmaa. Aika paljon kans samaa mystistä vetovoimaa kuin Caven Bad Seeds -jutuissa, mikä varmaan herran itsensä ansiota. 3.5/5, joka nyt pyöristyy niukasti ylös.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
4

Todella vaarallista ja arvaamatonta rockmusiikkia. <3 Cave 4/5

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Thu Mar 24 2022
4

Some of the most depraved, diseased, disorienting pieces of Aussie rock and roll from what would eventually be one of the country's greatest bards of the last forty plus years. And you wonder why they named the band The Birthday Party..... a junkyard indeed. Favorites: Blast Off, She's Hit, Hamlet (Pow Pow Pow), Big Jesus Trash Can, Kiss Me Black, 6" Gold Blade, Kewpie Doll, Junkyard.

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View Author
Thu Jun 02 2022
4

Wow, an early Nick Cave band that I wasn't familiar with previously. Noisy, dark, and chaotic. A glimpse inside the brilliant, tortured mind of Nick Cave. 4 stars.

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Sun Jun 05 2022
4

Did not know this was Nick Cave

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Wed Aug 10 2022
4

A glorious racket.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
4

This album is ranked #1001/1001 on this site and I honestly can't figure out why. It's just a Nick Cave album. It's like all his albums. Abattoir Blues has a global average of 3.35 and Junkyard here has a global average of 2.08. This album is interesting and spooky and you're all just big babies.

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View Author
Wed Sep 28 2022
4

I mean, it's Nick Cave and it's nasty post-punk/punk blues played in the noisiest style, so of course it's good. Not to mention that it largely paved the way to so many bands in Australia so there's no denying that this and Prayers on Fire are essentials. It's not the biggest classic for me but I have a lot of respect for it and when I need dirty post-punk this certainly gets the job done.

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View Author
Mon Oct 03 2022
4

This album sounds like what I would have expected the Doors to sound like if they had been a post punk band. Nick Caves delivery and prominence reminded me of the charisma of Jim Morrison, and the lyrics highlighting darker aspects of life. The music is takes most of its influence from punk, but channels it into something more powerful and arresting.

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View Author
Thu Oct 06 2022
4

I'm glad Nick Cave made this music so he could chill later in his career. Music described as challenging is always a bit hit and miss. I think I'd need a few more listens to fully decide on this one. It does make me think my high school science teacher was a punk as fuck though.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
4

A fave from my youth. marvellous

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Thu Dec 22 2022
4

Peak Birthday Party!

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Thu Dec 22 2022
4

I really like Nick Cave, but this was the first time I’ve listened to The Birthday Party. It was pretty fun, but had a few weak spots.

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Thu Jan 19 2023
4

It's my party and I'll angrily scream about dark oblivion if I want to.

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Wed Jul 07 2021
3

Dark and damp, noisy as hell, rather well organized chaos. Standout Tracks: She’s Hit, The Dim Locater, Big Jesus Trash Can, 6” Gold Blade, Release The Bats

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Wed Jun 02 2021
3

2.5 stars

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Wed Apr 14 2021
3

I kinda dig it!

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Fri Feb 05 2021
3

This was an uncomfortable listen as dischord and wild shouting coals feature heavily. That said the music was technically very interesting almost jazz like drum rhythms and even a 3/4 time structure in there just made it more interesting for me. I felt like it would have been a great soundtrack for a horror movie

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Sun Jan 24 2021
3

Listen later

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Sun Jan 24 2021
3

Not bad, but probably wouldn't re-listen.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
3

Nick Cave howls like a MADMAN, dawg. 5/10

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Thu Mar 25 2021
3

Love me some Birthday Party but I prefer "Hee Haw" to this one. The drugs had caught up to them by this point, and I think you can hear it

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Wed Apr 07 2021
3

So weird, couldn't stop listening becausenit was too weird

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Sun May 30 2021
3

Unique and brutal sound. Not sure if I'll listen again.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
3

Not everyone's cup of tea, and honestly I'm not sure if it's really mine! But it's invigorating and interesting, so props to Nick Cave and the boys.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
3

Не. Ну, не

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Thu Sep 30 2021
3

Rob zombie precursor

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Mon Oct 11 2021
3

I knew this was Nick Cave's old band but didn't expect it sound like this. A lot like The Fall which is a good thing to me

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Wed Dec 15 2021
3

Sounds a lot like Nick Cave... oh. Cool!

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Fri Jan 21 2022
3

It's really interesting for 1982?! I would have guessed it was contemporary! But not real easy listening.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
3

I like this more than I thought. It was entertaining but not a must-play for me.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
3

My induction to The Birthday Party. Slightly terrified but a little energised.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
3

Nyt on bändillä osuva nimi, kunnon kaatismenoa. Melkein vois olla 4/5 multa, mut loppupuoli ei yhtä vahva ku alku ja Hamletin lopun hokeminen vähän rasautti (tarkoituksella? kenties.) Annetaan nyt 3/5.

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Thu Mar 31 2022
3

Interesting but not my thing...some solid music but this would not be replayed by me anyday soon. But this is exactly the kind of album/education I expected to receive as I go through this list. Nick Cave is much older than I realized and his early efforts are completely unknown to me.

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Thu Mar 31 2022
3

I'm not usually a Nick Cave fan, but I quite liked this.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
3

This is my first listen to this album. I'm a little confused how this particular album seems to be so widely reviled, when there are way worse albums on here. It's fine, people. It's a little ramshackle and noisy, but it's also creative and weirdly fun. Musically, it has a gothic/post-punk/rockabilly sensibility, like Bauhaus and Cramps had a demon baby. I'll take this kind of snarling, high energy fun over Kid Rock any old day. Fave Songs: Dead Joe, Several Sins, The Dim Locator, Kewpie Doll, Junkyard

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Fri Apr 22 2022
3

Chaotic and noisy. Quite likeable

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Mon May 02 2022
3

Oh god. This is an interesting one- the sounds are neat and the mood created by the music is definitely an interesting one, but it’s rough. The production is flimsy, vocals are often kept to the back- and the insane amount of noise created by this record is atrocious- which I think was the entire point. Nick Cave and the Birthday Party def succeeded at what they set out to do with this one, but that doesn’t mean that many people are going to want to listen to it. Stand-alone, some of the songs are really great. But together as an album, the pattern becomes apparent- and many of the songs themselves are too similar to stand out- making a large part of this album a blur. Is it cool? Hell yeah Is it for everyone? definitely not

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Fri May 06 2022
3

It’s a mood.

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Thu Jun 23 2022
3

Enjoyed it, but i doubt i'd listen again

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Wed Jun 29 2022
3

Não me pegou muito, mas foi interessante conhecer.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
3

Rat Fink music

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Thu Jul 21 2022
3

It's like a demented Tom Waits but for all the tracks with a punk-noise backing band. I kind of dig it but not enough to be a "fan", but respect. WELCOME TO THE CAR SMAAAASH

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Thu Jul 21 2022
3

I've noticed this as one of the lowest rated albums on here so I have some serious trepidation going in. But on the first song I hear yeah okay, they're going for this raw, abrasive thing sure, but nothing too offensive really. The second song could definitely be played live at The Roadhouse in Twin Peaks. Third track is back to the raw, abrasive thing. I'm not gonna say I love this but if I had a few in me I could really enjoy this in a live setting. Kinda like an angry young amalgamation of Tom Waits and Ian Curtis fronting a surf-punk band. I have nothing against this. Bad dirty fun.

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Thu Jul 21 2022
3

They know what they're about and I respect that.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
3

It’s been well covered here that the Nick Cave thing doesn’t really work for me. I think I liked this less than prior examples. I think they’re doing exactly what they set out to do with this and there is an audaciousness to it but I have no use for it.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
3

It was more punk than expected but was good. Had never heard them or of them before this.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
3

It is a cool, angry and edgy album, the singer is very nice, a kind of pissed-off Jim Morrison... but it lacks the "engaging" factor for me. I appreciated it, but I don't remember it and do not want to listen to it again. Glad to know it exists, tho.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
3

It was good, but I wasnt that impress..

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Wed Sep 28 2022
3

Interesting album. A great preview for what's to come in Nick Cave's career.

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Wed Oct 05 2022
3

I'm not sure what to make of this - but I don't know that I'll bother listening to it again to find out.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
3

Damn, this shit was gritty and nasty! Reminded me of a band called The Horrors that I used to listen to in high school. Sure enough, they list The Birthday Party as one of their influences. This record felt a little drawn out but there was such a wealth of textures and sounds that I didn't mind it too much. Will definitely check out more from this band.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
3

Rating: 6/10 Best songs: She’s hit

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Wed Oct 12 2022
3

In the plus column: raw, vital, wild, Nick Cave sounds positively demented, a good reminder of the gonzo potential of rock 'n' roll. Negatives: eh, you can't really dance to it, can you? And isn't it just that little bit too wilfully ugly? Good clean fun, all told. I'm glad there's space for this kind of unpasteurised music to exist.

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Wed Oct 12 2022
3

This cover is ugly. And not because of the Ed Roth troll driving a hot rod. That part is cool. It's because it looks like it started out as a good t-shirt decal and then someone airbrushed purple and pink over it for no reason? Oh man. It's bad. The music is better, though it didn't sink in. There's something to it that kept trying to drag me back in and I'll probably give it a closer listen some other time - though if I'm saying that now, it's also very possible that won't happen. It's a little like other Nick Cave stuff - it either grabs me at the top and holds on or I feel like I can't get in. With this, I can't get in.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
3

Prettty wild. Melvins-esque.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
3

Talking Heads on crack. Nothing spectacular, but it is not like I did not enjoy the ride.

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Thu Jan 19 2023
3

Crap cover but not bad album.

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