1986, Music

Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond (1986) by The Go-Betweens

Oh yay, another Australian jangle pop record from 1986.

That’s not fair.

But the similarities between the Triffids, from WA, and the Go-Betweens, from Queensland, are many. I’m stuck here, having just listened to another record from the same month by another Australian jangle pop band. Though the Go-Betweens appear to have been formed first (by a year), I listened to their record second. I’ve at least heard of the Go-Betweens before but I don’t know who I thought the Go-Betweens were – I sure didn’t realize they were an Australian ’80s jangle pop band.

The thing I notice most in comparison to the Triffids is that this record is produced better – I can hear more of the instruments that were unpopular in ’80s music. Such instruments were on the Triffids record – seriously, the similarities are immense – but they were mixed so low as to barely be noticeable. Here the drums aren’t in your face as much either. So chalk up a win for the production of this record.

One of the two singers here sounds unfortunately like McComb and unfortunately for both of those guys (McComb and whichever guy here sounds like him) they sound like so many British post punk singers. (Though the other guy in this band doesn’t sound so much like them, which is greatly appreciate.)

I think McComb (of the Triffids) might be the better songwriter so that should be a win for the Triffids album. But, honestly, I like the Go-Betweens aesthetic more. To be honest, I think it’s just that the Go-Betweens can produce themselves well enough to get their aesthetic across. The Triffids’ producer, a much more famous one I noticed, did not do such a good job.

It feels really unfair to judge this album entirely by how it compares to another Australian jangle pop album from the same month. But I listened to it when I listened to it so here we are. I still don’t love it.


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