Ah the Triffids. What can you say about the Triffids? - one of those great bands which never got what they deserved? I suppose so; they would have certainly made Top of the Pops more interesting during the 80's, but really they were never destined for world-conquest. Can you honestly see David McComb doing a Bono? I bow to no one in my admiration for McComb - in my opinion one of the great song-writers (certainly lyricists) of the last 50 years, but, deep down, you know his demons were not the sort to be assuaged by `success'.
McComb's songs are those of the bruised romantic, constantly losing out in love, taking the wrong road, pining for what he once had but can never have again; and always there lurks in the background a cold, pitiless nature, waiting to pass its judgement and take what is owed. For me that sense of another harsher, more elemental world is what makes them THE great Australian band; McComb had been on that Lonely Stretch, he'd driven the Wide Open Road.
Quite frankly anything by the Triffids is worth hearing but this album is the `one', the one that everyone should own and listen to and wonder at; a suite of depressing, exhilarating, frightening, astonishing songs. From the opening dizzying swoop of `The Seabirds' to the closing wistful `Tender Is The Night' there's simply no let-up. On this version there are some extras, and, as I say, anything by them is worth listening to, but it's the original ten songs that matter, that are the reason that you really should own this.
Like all great bands the Triffids' music is hard to describe but instantly recognisable, a bit country, a bit folky, a bit 80's new-wavey, who cares - it's Triffid music. McComb found the perfect band, not interested in showy look-at-me playing, just giving everything they could to make his songs live. And they do.
Do yourself a favour and get it; it'll probably take a few listens to sink in, but stick with it, it'll more than repay the effort.