April 20, 2022

Die Haut & Nick Cave - Burnin' The Ice (1983)

*Reissued on CD for the first time in 2004 by Hit Thing
Contains 7 tracks total.
Country: Germany/Australia
Language: English
Genre: Post Punk
Label Number: HT CD 007

© 1983-2004 Hit Thing
Besides being the group's first full album, Burnin' the Ice gets even more due -- increasingly so in retrospect -- thanks to the guest lead singer appearing on four of its seven tracks, Nick Cave. Recorded six months before the Birthday Party collapsed, Cave's tracks show him seething with his trademark intensity and power, most frenetically on the stop-start rampage of "Truck Love." Though the vocals are mixed somewhat murkily at many points, the combination is a sharp and understandable one, with Die Haut's music, though less completely fractured and chaotic, working through similar stylistic obsessions and approaches to Cave's band. Christoph Dreher's low bass isn't Tracy Pew's kind of explosion, say, but it's a similar core underpinning the songs, while Thomas Wydler's drumming already shows the skill that would lead Cave to recruit him for the Bad Seeds, bringing a crisp, focused swing to songs like "Pleasure Is the Boss." For all the connections, though, Die Haut was still its own particular band and approach, shown perhaps more thoroughly on the three instrumentals. "Tokyo Express" readily calls up the feeling of a chugging train rumbling down the tracks, with the intense, focused riffs of Remo Park and Martin Peter twisting Ennio Morricone into new forms. "The Victory" is focused post-punk that suggests Joy Division (especially Dreher's bass work at points), while the brief instrumental "This Flame Will Never Die" which closes the album takes a route towards calmer tension than anything else. The 2004 reissue includes not only a full essay on the band's early days and a slew of great photos (including one of Cave on-stage with hair that outdoes Robert Smith's) but a bonus DVD that covers the quartet, performing without singers, from its first German tour.

tags: die haut and nick cave, burnin the ice, burning, 1983, 2004, flac

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