A lost classic
Lypo Suck | Hades, United States | 08/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first Go-Betweens record to feature dapper bassist Robert Vickers - with bassist/singer Grant McLennan switching to guitar - giving the Go-Betweens a dual guitar line-up, thus increasing melodic possibilities and filling out their overall sound. Here was a significant change since previously, Go-Betweens songs were distinctive for odd yet lovely interwoven melodic exchanges between bass and guitar. With Grant now playing much of the lead guitar parts, the songs show greater sophistication with more complex and fuller arrangements, not to mention greater attention is given to how melodies play off each other harmonically.
Right from the start you can hear this newfound sophistication with Grant's mellifluous, airy "Bachelor Kisses." "5 Words" features deceptively simple and pretty, melodic acoustic guitar parts harmonizing uniquely with an electric lead to form a catchy, sharp pop tune. And Forster's deeply moving yet oblique break-up ballad "Part Company" features some of the most beautiful guitar interplay the group ever recorded. The shimmering, lilting gem "Unkind and Unwise" (one of McLennan's all time best) is a throwback to their more rhythmically disjointed "Cattle and Cane" days (kudos to Lindy Morrison's inventive drumming).
A few songs rock out with wild abandon: Forster's "You've Never Lived" and "Man 'O Sand to Girl 'O Sea" (the latter being an inferior re-make of the same fierce tune previously released on 7") are terse, bitter, post-punk/pop gems, with a more angularly melodic feel. Other songs take a more experimental route with mixed success: McLennan's cool "Slow Slow Music" sounds like a cross between Gene Loves Jezebel and Aztec Camera, while his Birthday Party-esque "River of Money" features spoken-word over fuzzed out guitar feedback (and unfortunately disrupts the flow of the record).
This is a finely crafted, invigorating, challenging record, and while it may not be quite as consistent as "Liberty Belle," it runs a close second. Also, this CD may have the best bonus disc of all the 2-disc reissues, as there seemed to be a wealth of quality b-sides and interesting unreleased demos from this period, making this particular version well worth seeking out."
You've never lived....
Travis Dubya McGee Bickle | Texas Quail Hunting Camp | 03/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...if you haven't heard this disc...It happening to be a very cool example of the GoBs particular genius and magnificence...This catches them just as they were transitioning out of the more punky, angular style of the first two proper albums into something more lush, produced...Evidence of this softening of rough edges and more sophisticated songwriting is apparent in such all time GoBs classics contained herein as the moving and unsentimental break-up ballad, "Part Company" and the spectral, lovely "Bachelor Kisses".
Having said that, there are still some attudinal, punky, FU touches here as well: the rude kiss-off, "You've Never Lived", the cynical world-weary wisdom of "Slow Slow Music" and the extremely experimental (for the GoBs) feedback-laced opus, "River of Money"...Oh, and there's also the Forster LA noir cum Melbourne classic, his version of "Positively Fourth Street", "Draining the Pool for You"....What can I say? As ever, these magnificent bastids rule.
And don't forget GM's helpful advice: you'll get hurt if you play with crooks...."
Like you needed another reason to buy this CD!
Travis Dubya McGee Bickle | 03/26/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As if Spring Hill Fair weren't reason enough to buy this...you also get the bonus CD with lots of extras. The bonus CD contains a lot of great rarities. Some outtakes, a rare instrumental track ( where did that come from?), a B-side, and a track from the 1978-1990 best of thats no longer available here. Normally this extra stuff is marginalia at best and not worth the extra cash, but not this time. You get some great new songs that stand up next to any of their best. If you don't already have Spring Hill Fair then this is an offer you can't refuse. If you already have it then the bonus disc is really worth the extra money. "Newton told me" is already my favorite. Did I forget to mention the video of Bachelor kisses."