Ward Report Human Frailty Review

Great positive review of the Human Frailty album.

Author: Jack Johnson, Ward Report.

Date: 4 September 1986.

Original URL: N/A


Article Text

The Highlights of the already wonderful IRS cassette from the New Music Seminar was two songs from this tremendous new LP by Australia’s Hunters & Collectors. Their last album, The Jaws of Life (Slash 1984) was somewhat of a fans only set. With any justice, Human Frailty will not meet the same fate.

The familiars of Hunters & Collectors are all present in brutal detail; an unbelievably deep bass crunch, a singing horn section, all welded onto songs that speak of love and loss. Mark Seymour’s vocals are so urgent that a friend complained to me on first listening that Seymour wasn’t singing right. On second hearing, my friend changed his opinion.

“Say Goodbye” features some truly original lyrics, which hold true throughout the LP. Rather than relating an incident, the lyrics conjure up the image of the encounters. And everything is an embellishment on that thundering bass and drum combo.

“Throw Your Arms Around me” succeeds in the same way, a tryst out of Last Tango in Paris filmed by Horton Foote. “Relief” is a stroll of a beat, a sly rhythm that reappears as the instruments crescendo at the end of each verse into an implied chaos.

What seems like a calm discourse on Relief by the end becomes a rant against “this slapstick generation” and the trumpet takes on the rallying call. “99th Home Position”, which has something to do with roles in the home, rides and almost ludicrously paced bass line. “Dog” calls to mind the exiting pop of early Factory/Buzzcocks and Gang of Four. Lyrically “Stuck on You” is the most conventional song, but it has a lush arrangement and haunting intro/outro.

The album ends on “This Morning”, a schizophrenic fast and slow rampage of emotion, leaving you with an empty feeling that makes turning the record over of dire consequence. Human Frailty has been the name of Hunters & Collectors publishing company since the immortal “Run Run Run” in 1982, and this album is worthy of that title.



Thankyou to Stephen for typing out this article for us all to enjoy!