The pinch and clutch hitters from the Bad Seeds have been collaborating on film soundtracks for several years, and Mute has decided to package the best tracks in a two CD anthology called White Lunar. Cave and Ellis, polymaths of post-punk, could probably play just about anything put in front of them. Having done film soundtracks together since 2005. Their body of work includes The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Proposition, a neo-western outlaw flick; The Road, an adaption of Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel; The Girls of Phnom Penh, about Cambodian prostitution; The Vaults, about a museum heist; and The English Surgeon, a documentary on the psyche of a Ukrainian neurosurgeon. Needless to say the two seem to flock to their usual dark backwater style.

The first few tracks, written for Jesse James, contrast high pitched organ with strings which bounce along, seeming to echo the large western backdrops of the film. This also happens in the tracks for The Proposition. Selections for The Road have Cave and Ellis at their best. Scary enough, these two seem at home in a modern day apocalypse. The Road spins you around and has you contemplate the destructive, vacant setting and seemingly helpless walk to death. The Mother is funeral-like for obvious reasons and The Father has a long ambient brass whisper over the whole track. The Boy takes a more gospel and hopeful tone, brandishing warm background sounds and upward swells of trombone. Selections from The Girls of Phnom Penh and The Vaults, their most frantic electro movements, might prick the senses of Brian Eno buffs. Along the same idea, songs from The English Surgeon melds the two feels together and rounds out the end of the second CD.

Mute drops a release that explores a different side of Cave and Ellis, whom have collaborated for a long time in groups like Grinderman, th
e Bad Seeds, and the Dirty Three. White Lunar shows us a sort of Neo-ambience, perhaps more mature side of two musicians who have been hardened by experience since the dawn of post-punk.


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