Time away from his own recording career hasn't diluted or polished the sounds that Grosz battered about on 2007's Bedlam Nights, which were described by Music Connection Magazine as "deliciously dangerous" and by PMRC opponent Dee Snider as "Tom Waits meets Nine Inch Nails and a bad attitude." Heavy boots stomp on plywood floors, guitar strings groan underneath a thick coating of blood and sweat and Grosz's two-pack-a-day voice conjures a tableaux of torture - even when he's singing about redemption.
Originally released on Bedlam Nights, "Lady on the Low" is now re-released and repackaged with a big-beat remix by producer/multi-instrumentalist, Touch. With the junkyard drum-kit replaced by thumping 808s and rumbling sub-bass synthesizers - and the squawking guitars transformed into blaring sirens - this remix would find itself in heavy rotation in both the "tuner" cars of Miami and the jukeboxes of after-hours clubs in the West Village.
Drawing heavily from the fever-dream/acid-trip lyrics of the original, Grosz re-imagined the Talking Heads classic "Once in a Lifetime" with a snarling two-string slide-bass and the percussive rhythms of a steam-punk submarine. And while there is "Water dissolving / And water removing" - it's also quite clear that the water Grosz sings about is on fire and the tide is quickly rising.
Seraphim - named for the classification of Old Testament angels who sing the praises of God - is a pair of American standard spirituals, "Ain't it a Shame" and "Jesus on the Mainline." The former channels the essence of old Sun Records 45s with the sawdust and sideshows of a state fair while the latter evokes a late-night, kerosene-lit singalong on the front porch of a shotgun shack - having enlisted vocal talents from Emily Zuzik, Earl Greyhound's Matt Whyte, Suzanne Cerreta, Michael Fortner and Sean Toussaint.