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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Your Funeral... My Trial - Mule Music Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Jay Creepy   
Friday, 21 April 2017
Music review of the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Album Your Funeral... My Trail on Severed Cinema

Band: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Album: Your Funeral... My Trail
Members: Nick Cave (Vocals, Piano, Hammond, Harmonica), Mick Harvey (Bass, Guitar, Drums, Piano 2, Organ, Xylophone, Vocals), Barry Adamson (Bass), Blixa Bargeld (Guitar, Vocals), Tomas Wldler (Drums, Fire Extinguisher!!!??)
Year: 1986
Country: Australia/UK
Recorded: The Strongroom (UK) Hansa Tonstudio (Germany)
Produced by: Flood & Paul White
Mastering: Flood
Runtime: 42min 47sec

Label: Mule Music
Official Website:

Track Listing:
1. Your Funeral... My Trial
2. Stranger Than Kindness
3. Jack's Shadow
4. The Carny
5. She Fell Away
6. Hard On For Love
7. Sad Waters
8. Long Time Man
9. Scum

I suppose I first came across the dark works of Nick Cave with his merry band of Seeds back in 1998 when I read a review in NME magazine about a Best of... CD coming out. What jumped out at me was an in-depth paragraph on a song called The Mercy Seat. Thus I purchased the CD and discovered a singer who stayed by my side forever more as I bought every album, every tape, every DVD I could find over the years. Having mellowed out in the last decade or so, after making music since 1973, Nick Cave has recorded some of the most beautifully haunting records of his career.

However, I'd like to go back to an early point, 1986, to be exact, and review Your Funeral.... My Trial. The time of hardcore Nick! An LP so stark in descriptions as nearly every song tells a story of tragedy. With his, then, regular gang of talented chaps, Blixa, Mick, Barry and Thomas, the album sent the listener on a long and deep path. The fact that Nick was, away from the music, a heroin addict who was out of control, what irony that a desperate frantic pace weaves through this album and makes it so emotional.

The title track is a slow burning piano driven affair which is lyrically the most poetic as Nick's voice ranges from a harmony to guttural growl. “Here I am, little lamb, Let all the bells in whoredom ring, All the crooked bitches that she was....” The track is followed nicely by a faster but still low key guitar and raw sounding collective of drums and back-ups. Stranger Than Kindness sticks in the head long afterwards. Again the poetry is of a depth which showed up in Nick's debut novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel. An old world feel.

Jack's Shadow drops the beauty of words for a violent sound scape with lyrics telling of a schizophrenic murderer who is innocent, but his shadow commits all deeds. Jack fights his shadow. “Then he peeled his shadow off in strips, Then kneeled his shadow on some steps, and cried 'What have I done?'” Jack's Shadow is visual, very cinematic. A rich texture of religious paranoia spreads from this track.

Nothing, if you haven't heard Nick Cave's early works, will prepare for The Carny. An epic carnival music guided tale of a carny who vanishes one night from the Circus. Nick describes in details the feelings and emotions within all the performers who are left since his departure. “Dog-boy, Atlas, Mandrake, the geeks, the hired hands... There was not one among them that did not cast an eye behind, In the hope that the Carny would return to his own kind....” It's a spoken word story and Blixa Bargeld plays the role of the Circus boss.

She Fell Away, and Hard on for Love, are both calm after the prior tune. Hard on for Love is very close in tone to the work Nick did in his original manic band, The Birthday Party. Many say that Long Time Man is the best song on the album, and, aside from Jack's Shadow, I have to agree. Rolling drums, and jangling raw guitars, Nick's voice breaks as he hits the high notes, but adds to the feel of a man waiting his execution for the slaying of his wife. “She was laying in a pool right there on the kitchen floor, She looked up at me and began to smile. Her gasping words 'Baby, I love you...' Then she closed those baby blue eyes.” This song might make the hairs on the back of your neck prickle with the emotions contained within.

The album ends with Scum. To my ears I think it was a wrong choice to do this. Scum does not fit in. It's messy, it's like a demo. In fact GG Allin's style would have suited it more. Nuff said about Scum!

Your Funeral... My Trial has its flaws but, apart from Tender Prey (1988) Nick didn't really hit that peak of storytelling again. He changed, probably for the better, as far as his personal life, and delved into more harmonies such as The Good Son and The Boatman's Call albums which from that era does contain a few of his most beautiful melodies.

In the last ten years, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds have matured so much and are so anti scene, eg, they follow absolutely no trends. They never have. Members come and go, line-ups move along, but Nick still has that raw ability to make you sink into his words. As for his early works, albums filled with nightmarish narratives, they are classics in their own realms and are worth taking the journey into.




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