The -80s are back in a big way, shoulder pads, crop tops and big quiffs galore, so it’s probably the perfect time for The Triffids to bring out their greatest hits. Formed in the late -70s, the Australians were part of Rough Trade’s anti-punk army. The opening, title track eases the listener into the blend of quintessentially -80s arrangements and broody male vocals. Almost every one of the 18 tracks utilises the typical soft-pounding-soft drum sequences and tuneful bass-lines that made for some of the best drive-time songs of decade. That said, The Triffids have more in common with the alternative acts of the era: -Beautiful Waste’, in particular, would be a homage to Joy Division, like a more cheerful -Love Will Tear Us Apart’, with the rolling drum sequence towards the end.
One of the band’s best known songs, -Bury Me Deep In Love’ may be beautiful, but it’s not their most remarkable by any means – indeed, it may have achieved its notoriety simply by soundtracking the trysts of one of soapland’s most loved couples, Harold and Madge. Much better is the darker -Kathy Knows’, equal parts Nick Cave and The Coral, as weird as that sounds.
While it may be easy to suggest that The Triffids are just a diluted version of The Bad Seeds, or even Echo And The Bunnymen, they enjoyed their own spotlight for a time. And they were also part of the record company that gave the big V-sign to conformity and chart success. These greatest hits are well worth a listen, particularly if you are heading out on a destination-less drive.