Rock Express Human Frailty Review
Great positive review of the Human Frailty album.
Author: Kerry Doole, Rock Express.
Date: October 1986.
Original URL: N/A
Who’d believe that one of the rock records to best illuminate the human predicament would come from an Australian post-punk outfit previously best known for an abrasive brand of industrial funk exemplified by that 1982 classic, Talking to a Stranger? Hunters & Collectors have somehow become accessible without losing that switchblade at the throat edge – not an easy transformation.
They’ve switched personnel and labels, and actually scored chart singles in Australia with Human Frailty, but sadly they likely remain too powerful for white-bread North America radio.
That’s a minor tragedy, for this is a totally convincing album. Mark Seymour’s gutsy voice has discovered melodic tones, and is bolstered superbly by horns, strings and female backing vocals.
There’s a dreamy Psychedelic feel to the music of Relief, for example, which contracts intriguingly with the passions in Seymour’s vocals and the anguish of his lyrics.
As the title suggests, this album is a brutally honest look at life and how we live it. There are tales of rejection ‘ “She ground her finger into my breastbone and said ‘you don’t make me feel like I’m a woman anymore’ ” (Say Goodbye); obsession ‘ “I’m licking your hand all over’ (Dog); domestic despair ‘ “The fly there on the table, with its legs stuck in the butter-block’ (The Finger); political anger ‘ the anti-Reagan rant of Is there anybody in there?; and tender lust ‘ ‘So shed your skin and let’s get started’ (Throw your arms around me).
If all this is a bit close to the bone, throw away the lyric sheet and just feast on the epic wide-screen sound. All very human, not at all frail.
Rating 4 and a half stars.
Thankyou to Stephen for typing out this article for us all to enjoy!