Tuesday, 28 February 2017

God's Best Jokes

God's Best Jokes
Despite my fierce agnosticism, I have always had this inherent belief that there is a power greater than us, due to the ample evidence of such a presence floating about. Evidence like the sun rising. Or Margot Robbie. However, the biggest hint towards some type of a larger vibration, comes from the very subject matter of this stupid blog piece: the humour which seems to run through all things, laughing at us through fuck-ups so inventive that no mere human could possibly have such a depth of imagination. I believe it was David Rothenberg who said “Life is far more interesting than it needs to be, because the forces that guide it are not merely practical,” and I find this to be true. It’s the very reason why concepts such as Murphy's Law exist; for even if life is a series of random events or calculations evolving to balance itself out or a virtual reality game run by aliens, these processes have been blatantly programmed to do weird shit almost as a priority, because even if you find your existence to be one of misery or pointlessness, I guarantee a large portion of it could make for a fairly decent comedic TV show. You're a fucking joke yourself, basically. It's as if God is teasing us, just like he teased Moses in the desert, while we run around without any idea of why we are here, tripping over shoddy designs and then frustrated by absurd gags that are absolutely hilarious just so long as they are happening to someone else. Which is why, ever since I found enlightenment, I have developed the exceptional ability to observe and appreciate some of the greatest jokes God has ever pulled, and I offer them to you here so that we can all laugh with God, just like Regina Spektor recommended we do. Hahahaaaaarrrrugh.

God's Best Jokes: 05. The Nipple


This joke isn’t a particularly good one, but I desperately needed any old thing to round this list off to a nice number, so watch how hard I try to make this funny hahahalp.

According to Facebook’s sex options, we now have 72 distinctive genders, but as far as nipples go, no gender has nipples as stupid as the male version specifically. They are a meaningless addition, as inconsequential as Bill Gates winning the lotto, a lazy aftermath which serves no evolutionary purpose and yet has somehow survived, refusing to dissolve from our biological make up, a hairy decoration which conspires with the naval to portray an elongated surprised emoji upon our torsos.

As everyone should know by now, the backstory of male nipples are a hurried script at best, and begins (like all good body things) in the mommy womb. After the sperm and egg shake hands and make out, all human life begins as a female, which is because women are way easier to produce, whilst men are far more complicated and superior by design, requiring a little more time to bake properly. I mean, just look at our willies! Those things probably take about nine months to roll out of clay alone, depending on how big yours is. So, basically, it's kind of like the man-body received the instruction to embed the organic code which should eventually grow into tits, and then it was interrupted, now nothing more than undeveloped boobs, a permanent reminder that God deleted a file during mid-download and didn’t bother to do a system cleanup. And that is the reason why I got mine pierced. I took it upon myself to justify their existence, as well as granting Life a great excuse to hurt me greatly if it ever so desires.

But, of course, humankind took this shit joke even further. Despite their similar appearance, the banks in charge deemed it ok for children to look at men’s nipples, but not women’s nipples. Why this has happened should be extremely obvious: it’s because when you see a female nipple, a deep rooted infant reminder malfunctions in your head, telling you that are still hungry for mommy's milk, and we simply cannot have hungry people running around the world desperately trying to suckle on a teat all the time. It would be chaos and counterproductive to the capitalist system. Although, that said, it is actually okay now to show breastfeeding on most social networking platforms, because that’s normal and natural and should be celebrated, right? But heaven forbid a completely lone untouched female nipple is seen! Hell no, that would be pornographic and disgusting.

God's Best Jokes: 04. Flatulence


A well timed fart is no secret joke. Quite the opposite, in fact. More often than not, it's overused, functioning as the punchline to various comedic set-ups throughout the ages, and yet, still to this very day, with the correct delivery, the trick can still pack a decent laugh, no matter how immature. Yes, it's safe to say that many of us humans have mastered the art of fart, so what’s God got to do with it? I'm going to tell you, really really soon.

But first: despite what you may have heard, everyone farts. Even girls fart, I’ve seen some stuff on the internet. How it works is that gas from various sources (swallowing of air and/or the foods we eat, some of which are more guilty than others) build up in your stomach and need to escape, otherwise you may feel bloated and uncomfortable, some doctors even reporting that holding in this natural process as a main cause for hemorrhoids or a distended bowel. So no big deal, right? Just let it go! Everyone does it! No harm done! Except here are the kickers: it not only stinks, which could ruin your company’s day, but it also makes a noise, which guides everyone directly to you, the perpetrator. It is deemed unattractive, and being attractive is the most important thing there is, so actually don't do it, ever again, hemorrhoids be damned.

The smell itself is an exclusive result from the fart's sulphur content alone, which only makes up around 1% of the total ingredients of your own custom brand of wind. And that's what gets me. 1%? That seems a bit unnecessary, doesn't it? Why the fuck is that there? Why can’t we just absorb this tiny bit of matter into our bloodstream and let our hearts fart it out on the inside? I’ll tell you why. It’s because God is making a joke. Because he wants you to be embarrassed.

The noise is less the gases' fault, and more so your funny anuses' fault, which is vibrating like a horse’s mouth, announcing to the world that, yes, this person right here just let one rip. We all know this is a completely natural noise, a part of the whole mammal kingdom since the dawn of time, but we will still judge you. It's unacceptable behaviour. You are infecting the otherwise tasty oxygen with the digested smell of your poo gas, and that is not only inconsiderate, but also extremely funny to anyone who isn’t immediately involved, including God. But don't worry, God helps those who helps themselves, and there are ways to hush the audio informant, such as performing a sneaky stretch of the buttocks to gape your hole, ensuring the anus lips don't kiss and can't betray you. Apparently regular anal sex also helps with the ninja stealth, as your massive butthole will give a reverse gasp while you snicker at the morning commuters who cough and lift their collars over their mouths without a target to blame. You see? Laughing with God!

Of course, the etiquette textbook teaches us to endure this vapourware annoyance until you can get to a man-made toilet, a sanitation fixture specifically designed as a porcelain chamber which will amplify the sound even louder, one great echo for everyone in earshot distance, each blast blessing an angel with its wings.

God's Best Jokes: 03. Tickling


In many ways, this is the epitome of God's jokes, because you will actualol out loud, but won’t find it funny whatsoever, the biggest proof that the powers in charge are sick and find joy in your suffering.

What’s interesting about tickling is that no one really knows how it works, the topic gone under vigorous debate by the greatest minds in history, including Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Charles Darwin, Plato, and Galileo Galilei. The act itself is something I’m sure we are all familiar with, one deep embedded traumatic experience after another, forever shuddering to the surface with visions of that time my uncle pinned me down as a kid and tickled me until tears, his abusive fingers only encouraged by the betrayal of my own laughter, giving the inaccurate impression that I was having a wonderful time when, in fact, I fucking hated the whole world in those moments. And that’s the joke really, a concentrated form of anguish in which we squirm in severe discomfort, and yet according to any witness statements, we were having the greatest of times, because just look at how much we were laughing. Contrary to everything we have been taught about expression and natural instinct, we burst into some hysterical glee in these moments of rape and hatred. It’s rubbish.

As stated above, the reasons for such a misleading reaction are unknown, but like all things, it has been hypothesised to death. Some consider it an important method of bonding a child to its parents, which I don’t buy, because I personally have had thoughts of murder against my own mom and dad for the incidents described. A better idea, in my opinion, is that these sensations develop in the womb, to aid the foetus in finding the best positions to chill, which sounds like something an unborn child would do, idk, can't remember. And finally, another relatively reasonable theory is that the whole tickling practice is designed to ease combat skills into us, teaching us to defend sensitive areas as well as how to remove ourselves from a situation as fast as possible. None of this changes the fact that God is a dick, though. Surely there are less bothersome methods.

Naturally, we as humans have exploited this form of torture as actual legitimate forms of torture, one well documented approach in war time and the BDSM scene alike, a nonconsensual invasion where the victim laughs until they cry until they beg for mercy, which reminds me of my uncle all over again, why did he do that. But hey, at least we can train ourselves to build a tickling tolerance, by spending a few hours a day tickling ourselves, except no, you can’t, because it’s impossible to tickle your own person, as it is a sin to touch yourself in any manner, for the Bible tells us so.

God's Best Jokes: 02. Balls


Testicles are very important, believe me, I know, I have two of them. They work like little eager factories which produce between 70 to 150 million sperm per fucking day! That means that if every one of those tiny swimmers somehow grew up into a full human, it would take only one man to equal the current world population in about three months or so with one squirt a day. That’s nuts, lol. This is why boys are so horny when they are younger. They suddenly have hundreds of millions of half-potential children living in their nads, literally screaming to get out, driving you insane, giving you random erections, vomiting out of your peehole at any given chance. Thankfully, when you get older, you kind of get used to it and lose interest, because the screams of unborn children can get so repetitive.

Ok, so here’s the joke though, and in my opinion, the worst design God has ever made. For such precious and fragile body parts, it seems a bit careless to sag them as low as possible on the outside of the body, doesn't it? Just two horrific accidents waiting to happen. The purpose for such a lousy positioning does sound reasonable at first glance, as it is told that our tiny spermies develop much stronger at a temperature cooler than that of our body. It also helps to keep the tadpoles dormant, because as soon as they are active and racing for the prize, they die relatively quickly, the vast majority never reaching the finish line, dried up and wasted, just like your dreams. Ok, great, so that’s one logical explanation GOD, but here's the main question: seeing as you are all-knowing and all-powerful and the omnipresent ruler of all knowledge, couldn’t you have just, you know, made it so that sperm actually developed better when warm? If you managed to create planets and stars and a carefully balanced eco system, why not just make sperm out of another substance that enjoys a touch of heat now and again? No? Ok, I have another suggestion then: how about you place them on the inside of the body, and then introduce some sort of a ventilation system, perhaps above the pubic region? That way, we can still keep an eye on them and also it would be a pretty funky addition to our biology, just take the money from the nipple budget. I mean, to be honest, I wouldn't be so opposed to their exposed location, if you hadn't made these chaps so sensitive to injury, for some fucking reason. Why would you leave the organ with some of the most hyper nerve-endings, unprotected and open to assault? Unless of course, you find it really funny when a dude gets struck in his least favourite place, laughing as the two testes crawl up inside of the abdomen, snip the wires to the legs, ensuring we fall down, delating the stomach so we vomit, then tying a knot in our throat so we can't breath. Hilarious! And there we lie for an extended period of time, defeated in one second flat, unable to remember our own name, potentially permanently impotent, possibly kick-starting some dormant testicular cancer, the most common cancer in males aged 20–39 years.

It has been said that God made man on the sixth day. The day before the day of rest. Pretty tired by the time he made the balls, I imagine, probably just kinda saying “lol, that’ll do” and then giving himself a high five before having a little nap.

God's Best Jokes: 01. The vagina


I want to approach this final subject matter with all the cautious respect it deserves, so please allow me to begin with the open statement that (as with any heterosexual male), I am a massive fan of the vagina. A superfan. A vagina groupie. Almost every decision I’ve ever made can somehow be traced back to some instinctual compulsion to get close to one of these incredible works of art, and that is the fundamental point of this whole entry.

You see, all vaginas are beautiful. Granted, some are more beautiful than others, but I’d hate to be the cause of aggravation for anyone’s underlying insecurity with their lady bits, which is why I want all females reading this to know that, no matter what mess lies between your legs, the vast majority of my gender would probably kill another human just to get a glimpse of your package. We truly are not fussy about appearances just so long as it’s still a recognisable example of woman genitalia. However, if you are willing to take your finger off of your trigger for just for a second, let's all be honest without ourselves and admit that vaginas are kinda ugly. This goes for penises too, don’t worry, God is not a sexist bloke, it’s all fucking gross if you imagine it as an animal’s face or whatever. But the vag has a lot more going on with it. Loads of skin and flaps and pubes and whatnot. Quite a drastic variation from person to person. A very difficult thing to draw properly, trust me, I've tried.

But, of course, like the vagina itself, it all goes much deeper than that. These sexual organs are, in fact, very dangerous entities. Not only could any given one of them come festering with some highly contagious diseased parasites within (which is a decent God joke in itself), but they are also the only type of garden fertile enough that you can actually grow babies in there. Even worse, I know people who have fallen into long term relationships based on the alluring vagina power alone, which is a very scary concept for anyone who enjoys life. All of these consequences have one thing in common: whether a virus or a child-meadow or some sort of lengthy committed human connection... Pussy. Ruins. Lives.

As if this wasn’t far enough, it gets way worse. Personally, I love the way vagina smells, it is the aroma of victory to me, but every girl has her off days where a lesser-man would make some sort of a seafood reference, but I won't do that, because I'm worried this article has already cock blocked me enough. Furthermore, these special holes also routinely discharge a bunch of bloody uterus lining which makes a fucking mess and upsets its host greatly, which isn’t easy for anyone of us to deal with, please just tell me what I can do to help, I'm sorry for everything. Not to mention 75% of all vaginas will experience yeast infection at least once in their life, and it’s not the good kind of yeast either, like the beer or bread kind, it's the way more gross kind, I've seen it, you can't make anything useful from it. Take all of this and let it settle inside of your mind and maybe we can agree: vaginas should be, by all accounts, the most horrifically repulsive and fear-inducing matter the world has ever seen.

And here is the joke (drumroll please): it’s not the most horrifically repulsive and fear-inducing matter the world has ever seen. Quite the opposite, in fact, as it is probably the most desirable objective in anyone’s life who subscribes to that sexual orientation. I guess for some reproductive reason or other, God grew slightly concerned that he had made a monster here which could mean the extinction of mankind before it even began, and so instead of neatening the bits up or perhaps even separating the countless functions of the vagina, he simply opted to swap a few wires in man’s mind, and now it is literally the only fucking thing we think about. Wars have been fought for vaginas. Lifelong friendships and families have been discarded without thought just because one vagina presented itself as a potential option. You may think us males also want money and fame and success, but that’s not true, we literally only want anything because we hope it brings us the pussy afterwards. It works on an animal level, at the end of the day. We intend to attract the best (and as many) partners as possible. Why do you think that asshole guy wanted to get as far away from you as possible after he ejaculated? It’s because your cunning cunt’s magic had worn off, and he regretted what he had done, despite the fact that he was salivating all over it and promising you love and houses and cars only seconds before. Or how about that dude who really did love you? Why do you think he fell asleep directly after he came in you vagina's glorious presence? It’s because the job was done, game finished, level achieved, nothing in the world bothers him anymore, nothing at all, one fuck given now gone, peaceful rest at long last.

In all seriousness though, ladies, this is not something to get upset about. You have a super-weapon at your immediate disposal. With all the female vagina power combined, you could reduce the entire man-collective into puddles of tears within a few days, feminism would have no need to exist, you would not only control the entire planet, but realise you have been controlling it this whole time all along. I know you want to be appreciated for your mind, I know you hate the "piece of meat" analogy, but you're missing the point: God blessed you with an atomic flesh bomb, one that proves men are weak and stupid and completely unable to fight against you. Just look at the 2009 Kenya sex strike. It took exactly seven days before the government agreed to reconsider everything they had ever said about anything. Pussy power. If I had one, I'd destroy the very core of society, because that's the type of guy I am. "WHO'S LAUGHING NOW!??" I'd probably scream at the sky, but I can't do that, because I don't have a vagina, can I borrow yours though? This whole blog is so dumb, Christ.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

I wanted to start this devotion to Mr Cave and the Naughty Seedlings by detailing the revelation as to when him and me and the gang first decided to elope, but I found my fingertips brushing the keyboard rather than actually pressing down on any letters, let alone provide them in a coherent order that made sense in English. Wait, when did I actually fall in love with this Australian rock band again? I obviously have a considerable amount of affection towards them, because I’ve found myself writing this article. The evidence is right here, right? So why can’t I recall that special moment when they jumped in front of my windshield and derailed my train of thought? Maybe my devotion was a lie. Maybe I should just scrap this whole post and write a guide about how to save money or something, I wasn’t sure. But then I took a small break from coffee and contemplated it with a calmer mind, and that’s when I remembered something. Of course! The story of me and St Nick was unique, so true to his fashion that it slithered smoothly under any obvious avenue, making it impossible to initially detect by any standard means of analysis. There wasn’t a grand epiphany here! No, rather, Cave had seduced me so gradually and secretly, that by the time I was publicly announcing him as perhaps the greatest artistic figurehead alive today, I didn’t even notice I was doing it. I just assumed it had always been that way.

This is the third Worst to Best I’ve written for a musical act that I meekly kneel before (the other two being David Bowie and Sonic Youth, both of which you should read because naturally they are very well done), yet despite the immense talent of the previous subjects, I found this here attempt to be the most enjoyable by far by far by far. I guess this is because, unlike them two, Nick Cave has mastered the art of never straying too wildly away from his core signature noises, yet moving freely with enough variation from album to album that the listener is refused the right to get presumptuous or jaded. Not to mention that there is legitimately not a bad album in their repertoire, which is an accomplishment even the most accomplished of legends can hardly ever brag. Basically put, Bowie is God, so far out there, watching us from the stars; and the Youth are the disciples, destroying whatever they touch and ruining the fun for everyone. But Nick Cave, he is Jesus (or whichever prophetic preacher you subscribe to), more down to earth and definitely a mortal with mortal feelings and mortal ideas, except way more superior than any of us or anyone we’ve ever met. Ok, so let’s never ever make such stupid comparisons again, thanks.

I guess my point is that I feel great all the time these days. And this group make nice music with even nicer words. Words so good that even my words became a bit gooder, almost as if Nicky Cavy was rubbing his talent juice into my mouth whilst I wrote these reviews, and now my own vocabulary had blossomed and then perished within these very pages, except not quite like that, way worse than anything he’s ever said actually because I suck and he’s Jesus, as we’ve already established. What the fuck, this isn’t a worst to best, this is a best to better, and it begins like this:

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 16. Kicking Against the Pricks

16. Kicking Against the Pricks (1986)

Post-Punk Blues

First and fucking foremost, it’s imperative to praise this album as something conclusively brilliant. It is the first Cave album which actually sounded like a Cave album in context of our modern expectations, an assured step away from the early 80s rawness, and now headed directly towards the more romantic chew we adore today, arguably the initial example of where the group had worked out exactly who they were and where they wanted to go. Which begs the obvious question: why do I consider this release, one I am noticeably so fond of, as the band’s absolute worst? And the answer is simple. It’s because this isn’t really a Nick Cave record, is it? It’s a covers album. But what a covers album! Fantastic song choices (some highly recognisable, others not whatsoever), each so organically performed and seeded up that they feel way more Cavey than their originals, working like some bridge record that helped push their core sound into something spectacular, an open display of their influences, pointing towards the magic path to greatness which they followed shortly afterwards. But that said... it’s still a covers album. It’s still not Seed songs. It still doesn’t really qualify, does it?

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 15. Nocturama

15. Nocturama (2003)

Alternative Rock

Released to much critical acclaim and then slowly reconsidered as Cave’s utmost worst, Nocturama is worth defending for a multitude of factors. Primarily, if this is indeed the group’s midlife fail record, then it may well be the greatest midlife fail record ever made. That’s because it’s not a fail whatsoever—not up to regular standard, sure, but far from a waste with nothing really that bad about it, complete with the plushest of production and more moods than any other album the band have ever put together. That said, admittedly something is missing here, and something most definitely went wrong, entirely down to the songs themselves. Certainly, they nail something or other at points, but its weakest links are very shaky indeed, none of them offering anything new, and sounding like a collection of slightly boring and forgettable Boatman outtakes, featuring perhaps the only soppy examples of Nick Cave giving an ingenuine and lackluster performance, falling heartbreakingly flat unlike anything else we will talk about in this collection. So yes, ok fine, it probably is the worst material in their armoury, but it still should satisfy anyone’s attention, and nevertheless stands statures above most things, at times relatively excellent even, so whatever. I had fun anyway.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 14. From Her to Eternity

14. From Her to Eternity (1984)


After the Birthday Party broke up, members Cave and Harvey wasted no time to harness their flair for challenging the darkest fractures of post-punk, and put together a new outfit called Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, you know of them? And this here was their debut album, their first swing intended to destroy everything beautiful, and yet like any typical band beginnings, they only just managed to clip the target. They simply had not found themselves yet. But, damn, the commitment was there, attacking every angle with an experimental dread and unamused horror, the quiet production and rough music intended only to build noisy repetitive scenes which allowed Cave himself all the grim space he needed to growl and moan his signature poetic wordings without interference, now the epicentre of the show. But while the overall nauseating thrill of the album is a powerful initial introduction, and while the title track still holds as one of the greatest Cave classics ever written, overall it is lacking a certain sophistication of their later years that doesn’t quite rise up in comparison. Yet we must appreciate that even if the band hadn’t exactly mastered their weaponry here, they shot to kill regardless.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 13. The Firstborn Is Dead

13. The Firstborn Is Dead (1985)

Post-Punk Blues

Less than one year later, and the Seeds’ sophomore had already exposed itself whilst cursing the playing field with some voodoo shit, probably. It may not have been a huge stride into any uncharted musical venture, but it still proved they were not a band who were willing to stand still, especially when considering the small amount of time that had passed between records. With a title inspired by Jesse Garon Presley (Elvis’ stillborn identical twin), the gritty upset of the storm still snarled with the same sinister intent, but had more of a meander to its strut, following the traditional blues progressions, calming the violence, teasing the gloom, and reserving its cool instead of blindly striking in haste like before. Even Nick had updated his output this round, less reliant on creepy impersonations, more confident in his own ability, and at times sounding far from a vocalist of a rock band, rather closer to a preacher man—which he is. But, of course, even when considering this debatable improvement, these were still early days, too premature to quite deduce the best direction to aim their stream, and yet definitely getting there. In fact, this was the final album before they did get there, so that's nice, dear.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 12. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!

12. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (2008)


Very few Cave records get me as excited as Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! Openly, I worship the Seeds when they mourn, but we must not forget the band are well versed in tearing throats out with sharp claws, and this album strikes with more energetic passion than any other they have released. The upbeat momentum and invigorated freedom should go down in history as the very blueprint of how to get old and act your age without getting soft, the hard rocking alternative garage edge sounding about as revitalised as any music could do without literally exploding. Furthermore, the frontman is at his peak, with narrative lyrics driven by a sly humour and the ideal attitude tailored to suit the man’s persona so perfectly that it’s frustrating as to how seldom he visits this side of his talent elsewhere (except Grinderman, of course). I guess that’s what makes this release so special and why so many of my friends claim this as their favourite Cave of all time, but personally, I felt the songwriting was a bit too direct and unmemorable, not to unfairly mention that no song could possibly follow the opening title track, as one of the dirtiest (and greatest) songs they’ve ever put together.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 11. No More Shall We Part

11. No More Shall We Part (2001)

Chamber Pop Piano Rock

Before this album was released, it became obvious to Nick that he had to kick his crippling heroin and alcohol addiction before proceeding, and after a four year Seedless gap, our sober hero rose victorious with No More Shall We Part. What had come out of the other side shouldn't be too surprising: it was a broken man, weighed heavy by a lethargic melancholy, too delicate to pack a punch, rather compelled to cry about God in piano ballad form, for over an hour worth of time. Which sounds exhausting—and is exhausting—but is also a complete success, not exclusively thanks to Nick’s sincerity and newfound critically acclaimed vocal range, but also due to possibly the most well composed songs in the band’s catalogue, less Cave-centric, with a stronger focus on the instrumentation’s depth itself, and a simpler, more consistent nonstop ultrasoft sweetness until the very finish line. But, of course, the burdensome length and monotonous journey became its overshadowing weakness, and no matter how much of this mood-dependent album may grow per listen, it simply did not relieve our itch for the Cave viciousness left unscratched for far too long, and we were forced to wait even longer.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 10. Tender Prey

10. Tender Prey (1988)

Post-Punk Gothic Rock

Tender Prey is a peculiar one for me; a fan favourite held high above the herd and as an unequivocal Cave classic, celebrated with the best, yet truthfully not one of my personal front-runners. Now, I speak cautiously, ashamed of my incompatibility with this record, but still able to deduce some reasons as to why this discrepancy may have come to occur. First of all, the hype was a size too big, and I blame you for that. Secondly, the production is a bit shit, isn't it? Even the performances sound somewhat rushed and uninspired in my head, less of the sharp jabs I prefer and not working as a collective of likeminded songs, but rather a topheavy flatline of ideas connected at their end points without much purpose. But above all this, would be the world’s agreement that Prey was the band 'finding themselves', when I consider it a small step backwards—an improvement on most of their 80s gifts, unquestionably, but a devolution from Your Funeral... (their previous record), returning to the sloppy post-punky darkness and signature eerie playfulness that I’d rather was lightly salted, not the main meal. Once again, I blame you for all of this.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 09. The Good Son

09. The Good Son (1990)

Gothic Rock

A brand new decade seemingly brought in a brand new Cave. He had completed a stint in rehab, had fallen in love with Brazilian journalist Viviane Carneiro, and had started to reconnect to his more spiritual center, all of which influenced The Good Son on a very grand, very obvious level. For this record was the outfit’s boldest move up until this point, a massively unfamiliar and refreshing direction, steered straightforward into a calm darkness driven by more relaxed pianos and focused percussions—still creepy, but completely absent of any punky violence, the sinful smile of Satan replaced by an almost happy sing-a-long gospel affair, which (as you can imagine) didn’t digest all that well with his suddenly-betrayed disciples. It was too mellow, too balladdy, and too cringey for those who favoured blood, and honestly, I sympathise: we simply weren’t ready for it. However, hindsight has elevated this record’s status drastically, now almost everyone sheepishly admiring this ballsy mature path for our adventurers, working as the Seeds album which is most likely to appeal to any age group, perfected by inarguably one of the most appealing pieces of artwork they have ever packaged their sound up with, to this very day.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 08. Push the Sky Away

08. Push the Sky Away (2013)

Art Rock

Odds had gathered against this album, not only because Nick was well into his 50s by this point, but also because this was the first release without founding member Mick Harvey, having just left the outfit after 36 years of service. However, both of these factors may have worked in Push the Sky Away’s favour, the sound creeping into the very softest realms of the band’s catalogue, a proud midlife offering which indicated the Seeds’ relevance was invincible. Because they were fluid. Because they were indifferent to nostalgia or any attempts to impress the kids (Miley Cyrus references aside). Such a subdued magic may not be immediately apparent, and perhaps its hookless melodrama or romantic grace could be misconstrued as some meager placidness, but repeated listens reveal this sexual allure to be a whole new breed of Cave disturbance; a patient violation which will haunt without violence, rather an ominous quiet in the mist, exposing your ghosts and letting you to kill yourself by yourself. It’s a full body of work, some songs resonating deeper than others, but all conspiring together to prove that even age cannot discredit Cave. In many ways, he only seemed to get better.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 07. Henry's Dream

07. Henry's Dream (1992)

Post-Punk Blues

Now here is where things got really fucking good. And even though I consider the artwork to be a little on the tacky side, it does serve to introduce a certain desert-y almost Western standpoint of the Cave character, one cowboy hat shy of a villainous cool which compliments the album’s attitude very effectively. Not without its own brand of delicacies, it’s the harder cutthroat fire which I will truly treasure Henry's Dream for, built upon a folky acoustic dust which settled into an answer against any softer urges that previous albums had temporarily fulfilled and discarded from our protagonist's system. And while we must appreciate that Cave himself has openly confessed his distaste for the tight production featured, I personally consider this to be the earliest example of where the group found an ideal high commercial quality without compromising their trademark venom, clearing an uncluttered view into yet another Seeds record of rejuvenation, more self assured than anything they’ve done before, and really coming into their own, right here rather than anywhere else other people might say. For the first time on this list, I don’t have a single complaint, oh yeah, yeah yeah yeah, oh yeah.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 06. Murder Ballads

06. Murder Ballads (1996)

Alternative Rock

The key lies in the title. Conceptually, this album is built around homicides of passion (64 deaths in total), the horrors of murder balanced out by romantic and erotic motivations, told so casually that the seedy morbid theatrics become all that more disturbing. Depending on who you speak to, such an over-the-top approach has been ridiculed over the years, many fans using such lazy adjectives as ‘comedic’ or ‘comical’ to blunt the stabs or mop up the blood left behind, but in this humble reviewer's opinion, here is the band's greatest commercial success for good reason. The good reason is because it’s archetypal Cave, his gothy subject matter and authentic swagger at its pinnacle of joyous devastation, complete by the antagonistic wet dream feminine touches from indie hero PJ Harvey as well as pop princess Kylie Minogue (of all people). In fact, the latter lady’s contribution, Where The Wild Roses Grow, is often (deservedly?) the extent of a mediocre fan’s education, the go-to Cave classic that even resulted in an MTV award nomination, to which the man’s integrity politely declined. Regardless, even without this, Ballads is still a consistent and sinister offering, so intensely suited to Nick’s persona that it hurts. Literally. People die in here.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 05. The Boatman's Call

05. The Boatman's Call (1997)

Piano Rock

One quality we must praise Cave for, is how he either finds himself as some snarling beast or the most emotionally frail of all men, never comfortable in any middle ground, but always executed so perfectly that only his lyrical eloquence and baritone expressions tie the two together as the same artist. On The Boatman's Call specifically, we uncover the strongest example of the hushed and aching central character, unhurried and earnest as Mr Cave’s most personal and cry worthy of records up until this point, inspired by a field of heartbreaks which are painted by minimalist piano arrangements and not much else really. Personally, I could write a lengthy standalone review for any one of these songs, because (no matter whether remembering the first time hearing them, or whether listening now for the thousandth time), they never overstay their sorrowful value as the ideal collection to play in the background and sit silently still, watching the sad world pass you by, passively taking part in life, reflecting on nothing but the depths of your own desolate spirit. And as his 10th album, I think it was around now that most people grew suspicious, for no catalogue should be this consistent.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 04. Your Funeral... My Trial

04. Your Funeral... My Trial (1986)

Gothic Post-Punk Rock

Forget Cave for a second, Your Funeral is a classic post-punk record, not only in the purest definition of the word ‘classic’, but also in the purest intention of the genre, adhering to all its cold trademarks of darkness in that Joy Divisionary isolation type of way. During these recording sessions, Nick Cave was elbow deep in a severe heroin addiction, which was more than likely the primary contributing factor to its numbed overcast, as it stumbled along into its own death, an affliction I’d never wish upon anyone, but, goddamn, it historically makes for fantastic music, doesn’t it? So fantastic, in fact, that I consider this album to be the outfit’s very first of many (and one of their most exceptional) masterpieces, Cave introducing new climaxes of vivid imagery while the air is more dangerous than any of their other 80s incarnations, the very last of its kind, marking the end of their dirty punk run before experimenting with further pacified approaches. Despite its bleak content, Nick has since expressed his enthusiastic happiness for the results, and I wholeheartedly agree, hailing this as one very underrated release no matter how many long term fans have already started to admit the superior brilliance of it all. It's not enough! You must love it more!

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 03. Let Love In

03. Let Love In (1994)

Post-Punk Alternative Rock

When it comes to recommending Nick Cave to virgin ears, Let Love In will always be my initial endorsement. It leans deeper into the radio-friendly alternative scene than any before or after, which grants it a specifically attainable entry point, one which is packed so tightly of recognisable Seed classics that it could almost be misinterpreted as a Best Of compilation rather than a collection of brand new Cave works, reading like a band with a historical reputation of excellence who got particularly lucky this round. I think part of this success is that it hasn’t completely shed the taunting eeriness and romantic murderous brand of Nick Cave, but it’s not as explicitly obvious here as it was before, more alluded to by a unified aura, stalking your steps rather than stabbing your stomach, smelling your hair rather than barking at you, fondling you in your sleep rather than leaving a trace of a bruise. Ample devotees deem this to be the greatest record this list has to offer, and when I find myself discussing style of this caliber, I dare not argue too loud, as any comparisons have become pedantic debates over minute details, and that’s a useless practice for everyone involved.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 02. Skeleton Tree

02. Skeleton Tree (2016)

Art Rock

During the sessions for Nick Cave’s most recent record, his son Arthur died from an accidental cliff fall. And even if the majority of these songs had already been written before the tragedy, this father’s suffering was heavy enough to prove that you did not need lyrics to expose the strife of one's emotional mournings, but could address the emptiness of grief indirectly by using sound alone. Skeleton Tree is not an album anymore than an eulogy is a performance. It’s the most drastically unique of any Seed work (or anyone else's work for that matter), the uncomfortable stare of a naked man, exhausted by torture, surrendered to nausea, and spewing his vulnerable devastation from such a crippled worthlessness that we all topple ruined in response, as if Nick was forcing the last of his breath to imprint Arthur's very soul into this record, just to hold him one final time. It’s their shortest album because that is all the effort they could muster, yet its depth is sickening. And I break instantaneously, every time. It’s the only Cave release I’ve cried to.

Worst to Best: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: 01. Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus

01. Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus (2004)

Alternative Art Rock

Every double album comes with the following cursed suggestion: maybe they should have trimmed it down into one single record? Which is almost always true. Almost. But not always. Not Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus at very least, because it is the best double album of all time, in my opinion. What makes this pairing so extraordinary is that it’s not a legitimate double album whatsoever, rather two separate masterpieces sold as one, distinctive from each other, each calculated only to balance their respective colleague out. Abattoir Blues is the vigorously spirited partner, eager to be rowdy, threatening to be naughty, dashing around and making the most noise. These flames are then quenched by The Lyre of Orpheus, naturally the tranquilised twin, one sentimental affair, a bit more mournful, but at relative peace within its passive moodiness. Such contrast over such a large quantity demonstrates their mojo at maximum flex, even the lesser tracks never dull, whilst background choirs support the band as they stick to what they already know works—a summary record boasting their accumulated strengths, designed to appeal to fans primarily, discarding the new kids, fuck you, goodbye. Agree or not, this is their most inspired, ambitious, and triumphant achievement ever, comfortably my personal favourite Cave of all time, and I won't hear any different, not listening.

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