The Birthday Party

Mutiny EP

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The final Party studio release has the band thrashing to its conclusion. Given that the various projects that rose in its wake -- Cave's solo career, Harvey and Howard's work with Crime and the City Solution, Howard's own solo efforts -- all sound like logical extensions of the Party's sound; artistic dissatisfaction can't explain what brought the Party to an end. Whatever went down, though, the group bowed out with artistic extremism intact, if not always exploding all over the place as in years past. "Jennifers Veil" sounds like a slightly lighter -- but only just -- cousin to Bad Seed's "Deep in the Woods," Cave singing more than intoning, calling to mind the burned romantic of his later years more than once. "Say a Spell" runs at about the same pace but with more feedback to burn, a good torchy blues with a fine howl or two to recommend it. "Swampland" turns up the energy level all around, a crunchy romp through the low and mean places, sonically and lyrically, the Party made their own. "Mutiny in Heaven" closes it all off with a final, worthy blast of fire. Blixa Bargeld guests from Einsturzende Neubaten, foreshadowing his role as key guitarist for Cave's Bad Seeds, with sudden edits and a roaring central refrain from Cave, when not otherwise detailing a world turned upside down with all the fire of a travelling evangelist.

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