In retrospect, I should have listened to last year’s U.N.K.L.E. album more…

…because it’s really really good. A perfect mix of interesting vocalists and complex, compelling production. I’d be shocked if you don’t start hearing its songs popping up in movie trailers and soundtracks very, very soon. Check out the video for “The Answer,” which sounds like something David Holmes would have used to score an Ocean’s film:

The gauntlet’s been thrown, RJD2 and Cut Chemist: what you got?

Where Did The Night Go - Another Night OutA bit of good news, tho: if you (like me) missed the boat on Where Did the Night Fall, in a couple of weeks you’ll be rewarded for your patience when they re-release it as Where Did the Night Fall – Another Night Out, bundled with a second disc of songs from their subsequent EP releases, live performances, and remixes. The best of the new bunch, “Money and Run,” features a great vocal contribution from the peerless Nick Cave. The Another Night Out version of the album is out April 11 in the UK, and is available for pre-order on U.N.K.L.E.’s website.

Update: U.N.K.L.E. have unleashed an EP containing about half of the bonus disc today, including the contributions from Cave and The Duke Spirit’s Leila Moss — grab Only The Lonely at Amazon MP3.

Belated Best of ’10: Grinderman

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in ’11. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today, say hello to Nick Cave’s prickly Grinderman.

Grinderman 2With his other band Grinderman, Nick Cave lets his caustic guitar freak flag fly, marrying his dark lyricism to wild, unrestrained, primal rock n’ roll. Grinderman 2 is loaded with ferocious songs like “Evil” and the slithering “Heathen Child,” but then, strangely, near the end of the album, he lets loose this song, “Palaces of Montezuma,” brimming with romance and anthemic balladry. It’s sonically out of place, but astonishingly great:

So the Grinderman version of romance is still a little warped (“The spinal cord of JFK/Wrapped in Marilyn Monroe’s negligee/I give to you”), but that doesn’t distract from the engrossing melody and moving chorus. A great, great song and an instant standout in Cave’s potent canon.

Head to Amazon MP3 and give Grinderman 2 a try.