The Great Unwashed

One-stop shopping, New Zealand style. Collection puts together the Great Unwashed's one album, Clean out of Our Minds, with the following Singles EP, a handy and merry collection of what might have been a diversion at the start but still has its own worth. Richard Langston's liner notes give a brief potted history of the group's origins following the first collapse of the Clean, as David and Hamish Kilgour got together for a slew of random recording sessions that became the album and what followed. The Clean out of Our Minds tracks are in ways bedroom recordings, but unlike what the stereotype of that term became in the '90s, the feeling here is affable and gently goofy melancholia rather than acid-fried weirdness. The easy-blue groove of "Thru the Trees" mixes well with the instrumental shamble of "Hello Is Ray There?" and the at once creepy and merry celebration of wasting time, "It's a Day." Besides, any song which has what sounds like autoharp -- take "Yesterday Was" as an example -- has to have something going for it. The Singles tracks featured the more immediate and live-performance-oriented version of the band, though there's still the easy-enough feel of the album about it, even with the steady chug of songs like "Duane Eddy" and the scrabbling "Can't Find Water." "Born in the Wrong Time," with a particularly lovely lead guitar melody and some of the Kilgours' best harmonies, is the real winner from that bunch, and makes a fine almost-concluding song for the whole disc.

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Kiwi Tapes said...