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The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party were one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early '80s, creating bleak and noisy soundscapes that provided the perfect setting for vocalist Nick Cave's difficult, disturbing stories of religion, violence, and perversity. Under the direction of Cave and guitarist Rowland S. Howard, the band tore through reams of blues and rockabilly licks, spitting out hellacious feedback and noise at an unrelenting pace. As the Birthday Party's career progressed, Cave's vision got darker and the band's songs alternated between dirges to blistering sonic assaults.

Originally, the Australian band was called the Boys Next Door, comprising Cave, Howard, Mick Harvey (guitar, drums, organ, piano), bassist Tracy Pew, and drummer Phill Calvert. After the Door Door album and Hee Haw EP under that name, the band moved to London and switched its name to the deceptively benign Birthday Party. Once they arrived in Britain, their demented, knotty post-punk began to gel. They released their first international album, Prayers on Fire, in 1981, earning critical praise in the U.K. and U.S. While the band was preparing to record the follow-up, Pew was jailed for drunk driving; former Magazine member Barry Adamson, Harry Howard, and Chris Walsh filled in for the absent Pew on 1982's Junkyard.

After the release of Junkyard, the Birthday Party fired Calvert and moved to Germany, where they began collaborating with such experimental post-punk acts like Lydia Lunch and Einstürzende Neubauten. Harvey left in the summer of 1983. The group briefly continued with drummer Des Heffner, but it soon disbanded after a final concert in Melbourne, Australia. Cave had the most successful solo career, recording a series of albums in the '80s and '90s that maintained his status as a popular cult figure; Harvey joined Cave's backing band, the Bad Seeds. Howard joined Crime & the City Solution, which also featured his brother Harry and Harvey. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Boys next door, birthday party, bad seeds, grinderman, soundtrack work. I dig it all. Nick Cave and Roland s Howard are part of the reason why I play original music in the first place . Every time I listen I am recharged and appreciate the influential sounds like what I'd want to hear in my own heaven or hell.
The Dick Panthers suck!
You should play something from Junk Yard I saw that show. It was f**kin great !
The Dick Panthers are better.
If you like The Birthday Party then check out Nick Cave's novel And the A** Saw the Angel. Imagine Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude filtered through the character from the song Swampland.
This band makes me happy.
Seems like the bad seeds, pixies, Jesus Lizard, butthole surfers era was the last free spirit primal scream in a while. The argument could be made for gogol bordello, I suppose, but it is in a far different frame.
This is my kind of grunge. Love ya Nick.
galactic.but t e r f l y 1 3
Brings back memories
Dude. This is. Dude.
capital_lett e r s
Oingo Boingo discovers S&M.
mothlit
grunge sucks balls. this is pure heaven
if you like Birthday Party checkout the Jesus Lizard. David Yow must be Nick Cave's illegitimate lovechild. The early stuff, of course :)
sbholl84
Sick, perverse and distressing. A stand up bunch of lads. Even 30 years later, nothing sounds like the Birthday Party. Truly original and creative, even if not always pleasant to the ear.
A W E S O M E !!!
saluki.a
NICK.
This is still freaking awesome. Love Nick Cave...
best band ever
cvb93
hunter s thompson also released the bats and that worked out well ,dont you think!
Possibly the best punk rock ever put to wax! Nobody sounds like these guys!
NICK CAVE ROCKS , RELEASE THE BATS

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