Born Sandy Devotional
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Born Sandy Devotional
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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, 21 Apr 2017
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Daring to change people's attitude towards Antipodean rock in the mid-eighties, The Triffids' music lives on. This is a testament to a unique group.All formats of this reissue feature nine bonus tracks, including B sides and demos. Initial orders of the CD will include a 24 page 'perfect bound' booklet within a slipcase, similar in style to the Pavement reissue of Crooked Rain. The booklet documents for the first time the ideas and inspirations behind the creation and recording of this classic 80s indie album.
Top customer reviews
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.
Sometimes I listen to old favourites with trepidation. Is it as good as it sounded then? This album screams yes. This was their last on the independent circuit before being snatched by the big boys to record the grandiose "Calenture". Feted by the music press but never reaching reaching a wide audience this is simply a great album of wonderfully crafted songs.
The sound is rich full and grand. "Stolen Property" has to be one of the greatest rock ballads ever while "Wide Open Road","Tender is the Night" and "The Seabirds" come a close second for pure meoldy. None of the other tracks act as fillers and just demonstrate the variety of styles this band could play. Only the Triffids could write a song about a chicken killer.
I read on the internet only last week that David McComb the songwrite died in 1999. Very Sad.
If you like your rock hard then forget it. If you like great songs sometimes with full strings others pared down to minimalist content then this is for you. If you are happy listening to Nina Simone as to Nick Cave, Frank Sinatra , Costello or Blur then trust me and buy this album.
I first heard the Triffids unknowingly - the gorgeous `Bury Me Deep in Love' was used in Neighbours, though failed to break through as a Neighbour-associated track had before in the case of Angry Anderson's lungburstingly dire `Suddenly.' I knew the name, though probably confused them with Thin White Rope or something, but it was purchasing a copy of compilation `Australian Melodrama' for 99p that put me on the path to their records. A fair amount of that compilation stems from this album, while all Triffids is good Triffids, it's probably this or `Calenture' that are their greatest moments. `Calenture' suffers from production of the time, which some dislike - despite my assurances they should put such concerns out of mind!!
The original 10-track album is fantastic, as great a way to spend 35-40 mins as any and one of those great albums from the 1980s, which was a great decade for music: Swordfishtrombones, Fables of the Reconstruction, Fried, Sign'O'the Times, Let It Be, Isn't Anything?, Secrets of the Beehive, Liberty Belle & the Black Diamond Express etc. Think about it!, or don't...so it's that common case that everything on this album is a highlight. Those wild literary lyrics that send those pictures as potent as the album cover into your mind. That music that seems huge, but is the right side of U2-style bombast (though I did think the vocals on `Lonely Stretch' - probably my favourite - sounded like early Jim Kerr! Apologies if I've insulted anyone!!).
Opener `The Seabirds' builds on the orchestral designs Norton was associated with from `Ocean Rain', it seems you can hear everything in here - country guitar, jazzy Waits drumming, chiming guitar that makes the Edge seem dumb as dumb can be. It gets better and better - `Estuary Bed', the catchy `Chicken Killer', the two Jill Birt lead vocals that remind me a bit of Moe Tucker & the Velvets (`Tarrilup Bridge', `Tender is the Night (The Long Fidelity)'. The second half opens with what is probably the Triffids' most well known song, `Wide Open Road', which Triffid (& current Bad Seed/Grinderman-member) Martyn Casey stated had become an anthem to backpackers the world over. Which fits with the song's perfect lyrics...
The Domino reissue, which has been meticulously overseen by Graham Lee and the rest of the band, not only presents the original album with a new improved sound but adds bonus tracks from the era, including the fantastic lost title track which somehow didn't make the album. There are great sleeve notes, both in the standard booklet and the 42-page booklet with the limited edition, featuring great information, handwritten lyrics, photos, and some interesting pointers including what David McComb/the band were reading at the time (Flannery O'Connor, The Last Tycoon, The Clown, The White Hotel) and showing some influences/ideals they were using as markers for this great album: lots of Tom Waits, Cohen's Avalanche, The Boss' Nebraska, From Her to Eternity, Happy Sad, Joy Division's Atmosphere, Little Creatures, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, and several of their own earlier joys I think all should track down...
2006 was a strong year for reissues - the original Nuggets, Faust IV, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Abracadabra, Paris 1919 etc - but Born Sandy Devotional is the one. One of those albums to live by. One of those albums to live to. All tracks written by David McComb. To be followed by In the Pines and the mighty Calenture. Bob Dylan is still wrong to say "Don't Look Back." After 1989's The Black Swan the band split, though there were releases by Blackeyed Susans and some classic solo releases from McComb, which I hope will follow in the next year or so once the Triffids' back-catalogue has been dealt with?
David McComb 17/2/62 - 2/2/99.
Listening to Born Sandy Devotional in 2007 he's never sounded more alive: "Never should have let that precious spirit escape..."
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