Juke The Way To Go Out Review

Positive review of the new Way To Go Out live album.

Author: Ian McFarlane, Juke.

Date: 1 June 1985.

Original URL: N/A.


Article Text

In 1984, with line up changes that streamlined the band a reappraisal of approach Hunters and Collectors entered its most creative and accessible period.

The live shows were uniformly excellent and the Jaws of Life album was one of the Australian albums of last year. Encompassing songs of melodic sparseness, the albums power and agility ensured its critical, and to a lesser extent, its commercial success.

The songs on the album comprised the bulk of the live set last year. It’s no surprise then, due to the consistent quality of the shows, that a live album has been culled from two shows recorded late 1984.

The Way To Go Out is Hunters and Collectors at its leanest, meanest and most effective. An accompanying video recently received its one and only public viewing in Melbourne. It’s a startling document of the shows and quite faithfully captures the band in its favoured element.

You may remember that a couple of the songs were regularly aired on the late, lamented Rock Around The World, giving a foretaste of what to expect from the full length video.

Side One of the album opens with one of two tracks not on Jaws of Life, the achingly beautiful love song, ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’. Released as a single, its simple, direct prettiness (that’s saying something for a band as uncompromising as Hunters and Collectors) has been like a breath of fresh air on the independent charts of late.

The three other tracks on the first side, ‘The Way To Go Out’, ‘Little Chalkie’, ‘Follow Me No More’ succeed in creating a mood of understated sombreness that’s merely a prelude to the superior second side.

‘I Couldn’t Give It To You’, ‘The Slab’, ‘Carry Me’ and ‘I Believe’ go beyond providing just how powerful and exciting this band can be without being too excessive. Hunters and Collectors know just how much to put into a song to maintain the maximum effect, and consequently never become self-indulgent.

The rhythmic interplay between John Archer’s snaking bass lines and Doug Falconer’s pounding drums is at the centre of the band’s sound, while Mark Seymour’s ever-present vocal and guitar snarl provide that essential element necessary to hold it all together. But the importance of Geoff Crosby’s keyboards and the horn section to the sounds cannot be undermined.

The horns are the most effective in their use as upfront instruments in songs like ‘I Couldn’t Give It To You’, ‘The Slab’ and ‘I Believe’.

Where to now for Hunters and Collectors? The band has done just about all it can in Australia without compromising its position. Back overseas perhaps? Either way this live set, The Way To Go Out, is a fine testament of Hunters and Collectors strengths and abilities.