The Triffids – Beautiful Waste and Other Songs: Mini-Masterpieces 1983-1985

Despite having enjoyed a fair amount of critical success in the UK in the 80s, Australian band the Triffids still lie just off the musical radar of most Brits these days. The re-issuing of their entire back catalogue, then, hasn’t really resulted in a widespread excitement, and it looks like this instalment isn’t destined to shake up interest either.

Sounding at times like a country-rock version of the Violent Femmes, and at other moments like a poor-man’s Christian response to the Doors, the band are fairly typical of that late-70s lazy atmosphere that conjures up visions of a group sing-and-sway-along at tiny ‘gigs’ round a campfire on a beach.

Among a plethora of ‘nearly-theres’, the best song here is ‘Mother Silhouette’, a drowsy, repetitive tune that for some reason just has something that the other tracks don’t.

If you can get over what is either a rampant religiosity or a satirical dig at faith (I can’t quite decide, but unfortunately something tells me it’s the former) on songs like ‘Jesus Calling’ and ‘Crucifixion Speech’ the sound is pleasant enough, and though its not likely to change your life, it might be the perfect soundtrack to sitting on a wooden porch in the American south drinking whiskey on the rocks.

If you ever find yourself in that position, reach for this re-issue. If not, it might make a cheap present for an older friend or relative who’s pining for bygone days… but unfortunately that’s about it.

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