Thursday, February 24, 2011

Forgotten Music Thursday: Hunters & Collectors - Juggernaut (1998)

Several Australian bands tried to crack the U.S. market. Only a small handful (INXS, Midnight Oil, Little River Band, AC/DC, Crowded House, and the Bee Gees kinda sorta) were successful in that endeavour.

Much to our detriment, one of the groups whose attempt to crack the US market was met with little or no success was Hunters & Collectors-- a gritty pub rock band with a horn section.

Early on Hunters & Collectors were driven largely by their rhythm section-- John Archer on bass and Doug Falconer on drums and the gritty vocals of Mark Seymour. As the years progressed the bands music grew increasingly more accessible, the horn section became a stronger component of the band's sound and Mark Seymour really came into his own not just as a vocalist but also as a singer.

In 1998 the band decided they'd broken all the new ground they could. They entered the studio for one final studio album-- Juggernaut and a farewell tour (Juggernaut - Say Goodbye 1998).

While not as commercially succecssful as 1993's Cut or 1994's Demon Flower-- Juggernaut is easily Hunters & Collectors most accessible album. While their earlier material certainly had an audience, many found it to be a little TOO adventurous and at times a bit too pretentious in its adventurousness.

While this album lacks any real stand-out tracks it also lacks "filler" material. It's a consistent and strong and respectable album from start to finish.

There's something imminently enjoyable about hearing the horns "dancing" with Seymour's smooth vocals on True Believers, the infectious groove of Higher Plane, and the classic H&C sound of When You Fall which recalls the stylings of much of the "Hunnas" earlier material.

If you're looking for something a little bit different, an exit just far enough the main highways of music to be both enjoyable and accessible... This final farewell from a band that decided to burn out rather than fade away is well worth a few spins on your CD player.

1 comment:

Bar said...

Hey, Mate, thanks for the head's up.

You know how I LOVE all things Aussie....especially a wonderful, captivating young bloke in Melbourne.