Friday, 6 November 2015

Year by year: 1986


Born Sandy Devotional doesn’t really blow you away. Not on first listen. Rather, it overpowers you with toughness and emotional intensity. So that the closer “Tender Is The Night (The Long Fidelity)” sounds almost lightweight when it beautifully brings it all to a close.

There’s a fascinating booklet in the CD version I have. It includes photos of Dave McComb’s notebook with ideas and rewrites and the general feeling that he was doing something monumental. That this was the Triffids’ album. That it would be as close to experiencing Australia (without actually going there) as possible. That it would capture all the vastness and all the isolation.

Lonely stretches and wide open roads. The thoughts he put into that. The work. The determination. But above all – this is a collection of great songs. Each one a complete Australian classic. It’s incredible that a song like “Personal Things” was included at the last moment. Dave’s vocals and the piano could go on forever for all I care. I love it to death. 

The whole album, really. The spiritual intensity of “Lonely Stretch”; the morbid, unsettling beauty of “Tarrilup Bridge”; the propulsive energy of “Life Of Crime”. And the feeling that against that vastness – you are a fly. You are nothing. And how the time flies. ‘As fast’, Dave sings, ‘as a chicken with no head’.