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

Junkyard

The Birthday Party

1982

Buy At Rough Trade
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

2.14

Votes

11040

Genres

  • Post Punk
  • Punk
  • Rock

Reviews

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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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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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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 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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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 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 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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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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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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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 Apr 14 2021
5

Never listened before and I loved it!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Mon Jan 01 2024
1

I looked at the album cover and thought, “I’m gonna hate this.” But someone once told me “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and I’m a good boy. So I went in with an open mind. I hated this. The drums were erratic, the vocals were insane, the bass was exhausting, the guitar was whiny, the mix was terrible. It sounds like someone had just shot a gun in the studio, fucking up the mics, the mood, and everyone’s hearing. This is my introduction to Nick Cave. I’m worried about his other 5 (!) albums on the list, but hopefully they benefit from being a different project.

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Wed Apr 05 2023
5

I spent most of my teens hiding out in a junkyard. I would catch and eat pigeons for sustenance and suck on the tits of stray cats just for fun and to fuel my beastiality kink. I once fucked a crocodile for 11 hours straight and listening to this record reminded me of that wonderful day. A perfect moment in an otherwise deeply depressing existence. Cum on my tits.

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Fri Aug 11 2023
4

I love Nick Cave but there is a reason to why I mostly listen to his later music

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Mon Jun 03 2024
4

I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did. Early, dark Nick Cave is a very good Nick Cave indeed (just like the other Nick Caves). It reminds me of Pornography-era cure mixed with 80’s Tom Waits and, well, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It’s not for everyday listening, and it’s not something you’ll put on at an outdoor BBQ party this summer. If you’re disenchanted, pissed off, and/or questioning what this crazy life is all about, it’s probably the soundtrack for that.

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Sun May 30 2021
3

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

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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 Apr 22 2022
3

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

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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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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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Wed Sep 28 2022
3

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

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Fri Aug 11 2023
2

I added six songs to my library. The rest was rather unpleasant. But hey, gotta give it to The Birthday Party for giving energy. Even if it wasn't an energy I really liked.

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Sat Aug 12 2023
2

Best Song: Dead Joe. Marginally better than the rest of what's on offer. Worst Song: Big Jesus Trash Can. Talentless shouting. Overall: The music is shit. The album art is shit. The name of both the band and the album are shit. Why am I listening to this?

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Mon Aug 21 2023
2

The album art is an accurate representation of the music - a total mess. 3/10

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Mon Jan 01 2024
2

Noisy, raw and borderline unbearable, yet there are glimpses of something interesting hidden beneath the sludge. Nick Cave's early band doesn't begin to showcase his talent, but you have to give him credit for trying, but really that's about all...

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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 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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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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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 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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Sat Dec 02 2023
1

Did some record label owe someone's parents a favor? Get it off the list. Forever. Get it off the Internet. Erase it from my memory. Give me back my precious minutes wasted on trying to listen to whatever this was.

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Thu Dec 28 2023
1

No. 80/1001 Blast Off 2/5 She's Hit 3/5 Dead Joe 1/5 The Dim Locator 1/5 Hamlet 1/5 Several Sins 2/5 Big Jesus Trash Can 1/5 Kiss Me Black 1/5 6'' Gold Blade 1/5 Kewpie Doll 2/5 Junkyard 1/5 Dead Joe - 2nd Version 1/5 Release the Bat 1/5 Average: 1,38 Uff, this one I didn't like at all. Most songs just felt like someone screaming over repetitve guitar riffs and drumming. This is now my worst rated album so far. Taking over from Kilimanjaro - The Teardrop Explodes (1,88)

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Sun Mar 28 2021
5

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

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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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Fri Mar 17 2023
5

Cannot find another way to describe what raw energy and unleashed creativity… well, maybe The Stooges. This album is a gem. It demands your entire attention and will not leave you free until it finishes. Even then, the silence will be distressing.

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Mon Apr 17 2023
5

Distilled chaos dipped in blood and poetry

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Tue Jul 11 2023
5

Damn that horror bat sex horror sex vampire. It's silly but brilliant fun. The sort of stupid album you need to be deceptively clever to make. Does it get a little bit repetitive as it goes on? Yea. Does it sound like nothing else.on this list and brings the fun? Also yes.

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Sat Oct 07 2023
5

it’s a problem: in terms of raw energy and pure creativity the birthday party were one of the greatest bands of all time; they were also full-time denizens of Hell; so do you want to pay a visit to Hell? well, punk, do ya?

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Fri Oct 13 2023
5

This album is a wild mess. really chaotic but musically fascinating. Rough and frightening and beautiful.

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Wed Nov 01 2023
5

I went into this album cold and holy hell was it a treat. Made sense when I learned it was Nick Caves first band. Do I think it's for everyone? No. But this kind of sloppy, we know the rules of music but refuse to use them kind of music is my jam. She's Hit was the highlight track for me but I'm looking forward to listening through this one a few more times. Loved it.

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Thu Nov 16 2023
5

Maybe this just happened to synch perfectly with my inner aggression, but I had a blast listening to this. It’s probably not one I’ll have in the regular rotation, but it’s honest energy that I can get behind!

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Mon Jan 15 2024
5

This album has The Birthday Party as they lift their game substantially. I've been playing this since release and it's a favourite album.

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Wed Jan 24 2024
5

Holy Post Punk Junkman. Nick Cave as a manic trashman with hypnotic drums, feedback, percussive macho bass lines... Dirty, steamy, swamp fever. This album is one psychotic madness, but a genius one. It sound like Bauhaus who had a mental breakdown. People who have read The Ass Saw The Angel will also recognize elements of Cave's Faulknerian novel characters in this album. This came off the back of yesterdays Dark Side Of The Moon and the contrast almost couldn't be higher. The album version ends with the hallucinatory Junkyard, in which Cave really gives *everything*, his voice almost to pieces, and just about to At the end you hear him coughing his lungs out during the fade-out after that effort. Sublime.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
5

Not one happy birthday song on it. Great album to get a haircut to.

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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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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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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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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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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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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

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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Fri Mar 17 2023
4

Love the wildness o this...nick at his most unhinged and chaotic.

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Mon Mar 20 2023
4

The guy on the album cover reminds me of this record store that used to be maybe half an hour from me. It closed about two years ago but the style is really similar. I did have to keep the lyrics up while listening to the songs because it was super hard to tell what was being said. At least I really liked the instrumental!

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Thu May 18 2023
4

A fucked piece of shit. A consensual curb stomping. More proof that the "Lowest Rated Albums" on this site are generally more exciting and fun than the "Highest Rated Albums". This was awesome. Haters will be turned into molten slag in the molten slag machine that comes free with every junkyard.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
4

Pretty good. The sound is a bit too dirty for my tastes, but very solid stuff.

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Thu Jun 08 2023
4

Great violent post-punk, often bordering on noise rock. As much as this album appeals to me though, there are a few clear failings that keep it from true greatness: Firstly, I think the album should lean even harder into the angular, noisy angle than it already does. Secondly, the lo-fi production does the sound a disservice. I don’t mean that in a audiophile purist sense, but the muddy sound of all the instruments really take away from their attack and makes for a much less striking experience overall. Still, it’s a very worthwhile album. I also really like the album cover

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Sun Jul 02 2023
4

It was better than 3 stars but I would need more time with it to figure that out, so 4 stars it is.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
4

This is a very odd album. Junkyard very much in that post punk lane, but it has a unique combination of two different sub-genres, no wave and goth punk. This album in my opinion is very noisy. The best example of this is Blast Off, a song that is almost entirely no wave. The next song though, She’s Hit, cements the album in its gothic roots. It’s very dark and heavy but also containing that punk flair we know punk to be. This gothic no wave continues through most of the album and it’s pretty enjoyable. No tracks particularly stand out other than the first two, so take that as you will. This was an enjoyable little post punk record though. I’d give it a 7/10.

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Sun Aug 06 2023
4

There is a lot to take in here. This music is kind of confrontational, but it’s always interesting. One thing I noticed was that Nick Cave’s later Grinderman albums seem to harken back to this frenetic and aggressive style.

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Fri Aug 11 2023
4

Chaos. There's something fascinating about it.

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Mon Aug 14 2023
4

Inspired early Cave. The rawness adds a chaotic energy that is refined in The Bad Seeds LPs that followed, but there is something in the nascent finding and striving in this LP that makes it stand up in its own right rather than seeming like Cave juvenalia.

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Sun Aug 20 2023
4

Nick Cave's first band made a punk record that was basically punk when it was already dead. It's a corpse of punk. Dark stories straight out of horror films or weird fiction instead of political protest songs. "She's hit" is one of those masterpieces. Still, I prefer the Bad Seeds. Nick evolved to be a great songwriter and lyricist with the help of those talented musicians. If he and Mick Harvey would've continued with this band they might have not become the talented chaps they were now. The music just sounds too similar in the end.

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