It appears that the legacy of the late David McComb - the enigmatic front man of Australian folk rock band, The Triffids - is being kept alive with two new releases, a rarities box set and an 18 song greatest hits compilation. McComb's flame is still burning bright as we celebrate his writing in The Triffids - at times melancholy songs that are peppered with absolutely beautiful imagery.
It may be a little difficult in the modern age, living with iPhones and Facebook, to understand the tyranny of distance that was felt by this group living in Perth in the 80s. The fact that they used this isolation as a creative tour de force to produce five studio albums and two of their best-known songs, 'Wide Open Road' and 'Bury Me Deep In Love', speak volumes about their collective genius and individual characters. The former track is widely acknowledged as an Australian institution (where more citizens know the lyrics to this than the second verse of the national anthem). It takes the listener on a journey of epic proportions through family-friendly suburbs to the Australian bush and the great beyond of the magnificent southern land they called home.
Musically the group appears to come from the same musical school as Crowded House and fellow Australians, The Go-Betweens. This is best felt in 'Red Pony' where layered strings and poetic meaning are flawlessly juxtaposed. And then there's 'Beautiful Waste', which is intricately crafted, catchy pop.
The set contains some of the most sublime, shiny pop you'll ever hear with cerebral lyrics providing the foundation for excellent songs that continue to inspire generations of musicians. (There being no doubt that Australian artists like Angus & Julia Stone, Josh Pyke and The Waifs would not exist had it not been for musical forefathers like The Triffids).
This collection - like the band's stunning back catalogue - beats with the heart of the Australian psyche. It's amazing that a bunch of kids from the suburbs captured on vinyl the contents of our hearts and minds while simultaneously tugging at our heartstrings. In all, Wide Open Road - The Best of The Triffids is the perfect introduction to a much-loved group and one that feels like a deserved and tenderly written love letter to the creative genius and minds behind one of Australia's best acts.