The Triffids

Like Nick Cave, the Go-Betweens, and Midnight Oil, the Triffids resided in the rarified strata of Aussie rock bands that carved an indelible indie niche in the mid- to late Eighties. They did produce a series of minor classics, all of which are due for domestic reissue by the Domino label this year and next. The first of these, Born Sandy Devotional, is generally acknowledged as a tour de force and a fitting epitaph for the band's chief visionary, the late David McComb. Newly bolstered by nine heretofore-unreleased demos, outtakes, and live tracks, it provides an aural journey through the Australian outback, its parched imagery evoking desolate wilderness — or as the song titles suggest, a "Lonely Stretch" and "Wide Open Road." Their vacant gaze and bold atmospheric arrangements remain both haunting and harrowing.

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Lee Zimmerman