Song of the Day, July 23: Hell of A Summer by the Triffids

TriffidsTreelessHellToday’s song is Hell of A Summer by the Triffids. During the early years that the group which became the Triffids settled into a steady lineup, singer and songwriter David McComb crafted dozens of songs. Many appeared on self-released cassettes and in the group’s live performances. After signing with Hot Records, the band took the best of their current live repertoire and started recording.

The tracks for their first album, Treeless Plain, were recorded in twelve stealth sessions using down time between midnight and the early morning hours. The well-honed material and intense recording circumstances resulted in a powerful album that set the stage for the band’s decade-long run of amazing music. The album’s title refers to Nullarbor, the desolate stretch between the group’s home in Western Australia and the nearest city, Adelaide. That sense of isolation fills many of the tracks including this standout.

Hell of a Summer is classic Triffids, a wrenching song of man against nature as he tries to cope with emotional upheaval. McComb is in fine vocal, declaiming “it’s been Hell” with a grim certainty that makes one wonder if that’s just a turn of phrase. The band are tight and compelling behind him, making this gem an early masterpiece in the Triffid catalog.

Enjoy this gripping song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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