The Go-Betweens

G Stands For Go-Betweens: Volume One

Domino

Jan 20, 2015 Issue #52 - January/February 2015 - St. Vincent Bookmark and Share


This box set gathers the first three proper albums from Australia's The Go-Betweens, plus rarities and a fine disc of formative singles. It's music that wholly deserves to be spoken of in the same reverent tones reserved for canonized '80s guitar-pop legends, from R.E.M. and The Smiths to top-tier Kiwis, The Clean.

Many point to The Go-Betweens' mid-to-late-'80s oeuvre (not represented here) as the band's pinnacle, but 1984's Spring Hill Fair is perhaps just as deserving of consideration. Chronologically the last record of this collection, it consolidates the edgier strengths of Send Me a Lullaby (1982) and Before Hollywood (1983) while introducing the romance and delicacy that ultimately defined the band.

Yet even the earliest, roughest work in this set has more in common with the three decades of indie pop evolution that followed it than the years of post-punk developments that preceded; for evidence of The Go-Betweens' continued relevance, just look to Real Estate, Wild Nothing, and Beach Fossils, each having clearly absorbed the chiming elegance exemplified by "Bachelor Kisses" and "Cattle and Cane." Maybe the band themselves put it best on a prescient Spring Hill Fair gem: "The old way out is now the new way in." (www.go-betweens.net)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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