Saturday, August 20, 2022

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Sound Check


cd Nick CaveNick Cave and The Bad Seeds

“Live from KCRW”

Bad Seed Ltd.

Nick Cave is the master of the brooding, post-punk dirge. Cave’s other 2013 release, “Push The Sky Away,” dropped in February to nearly universal acclaim. It was while out promoting that album that Cave dropped by Santa Monica’s KCRW radio station and recorded a session for its “Morning Becomes Eclectic” program. Consisting of four tracks from “Push…,” along with eight classic Bad Seeds tracks, “Live from KCRW” is a starkly minimalist take on Cave’s work. Opening track “Higgs Boson Blues” sounds better here than it does on “Push,” as Cave’s lonesome, plaintive voice lends the song — with its lyrics about Hannah Montana and a mummified cat — more gravitas than it probably deserves. But the best on the album is the utterly sublime title track. It’s a magnificent, haunting piece of work and proof positive that, at 56 years of age, Cave’s still operating at the very top of his game. CV


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cd MumfordsMumford’s

“Immediate Family”

Maximum Ames

When Mumford’s came out with “Triple Trinities” last summer, it felt like a concept album that was well intentioned but half-formed. The themes contained therein were embryonic, and while the album was entertaining, it didn’t feel like it completely delivered upon its implied promise. With “Immediate Family,” Mumford’s has made sure to rectify that. “Immediate Family” is the most complete album the group has released and is easily the most well-rounded and theatrical the band has ever sounded. There are still things here that not everyone will enjoy, i.e. front-man Nate Logsdon is not a dynamic vocalist, which limits the band’s ability to really get creative with melodies. But he is blessed with the self-awareness to understand where his strengths and limitations lie, and Mumford’s is never guilty of reaching for things it can’t achieve. CV

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