Since the 1970s the nomad known as Lydia Lunch has been scaring the shit out of people and making us think with her hardcore truths, opinions and stories about everyday life. Not one to sit back and take it, Lunch has been giving it to the man with a sharp tongue and no regrets.
Her latest endeavor is pairing up with British singer/songwriter Cypress Grove for the haunting and stripped down release ‘A Fistful of Desert Blues.’ The two met up when Grove was working on a tribute album for fallen friend Jeffrey Lee Pierce from The Gun Club. Grove was working on some unfinished music he had wrote with Pierce and brought in Nick Cave, Iggy Pop, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, Isobel Campbell, and Lydia Lunch among other to finish the songs. This was around 2006 and Grove and Lunch aspired to work together again.
After years waiting in the wings, Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove have released ‘A Fistful of Desert Blues.’ The 12-track album is anchored by Grove’s pre-war acoustic blues guitar and Lunch’s ghostly matter-of-fact story telling.
At first ‘A Fistful of Desert Blues’ is a hard listen because it is well, just plain creepy with Lunch’s whiskey soaked spoken-word over Grove’s acoustic guitar arpeggios and background cries on “Sandpit.” However, the duo warm you up with the slow bluesy tempo on “When You’re Better.” The gothic vibe from Lunch is still present but songs become more fleshed out compositions with slide guitars on “Devil Winds,” echoes in the backdrop for “I’ll Be Damned” the tribal drums in “Jericho.”
‘A Fistful of Desert Blues’ is the perfect title for these songs created by Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove. The tracks have a raw vibe to them like you can feel the fire dance under the desert moonlight as the two sit around the campfire working these tracks. These dozen songs are journeys that might be hard at first but the end justifies the means.