A Bad debt follows you is a creepy dark piece that sees Grant McLennan singing in a deep and confronting voice. The arrangements are such that the song has a very cold feel yet has a very energetic beat to it.
Two step, step out suddenly had a much brighter, folk-like feel to it. It is also a very early example of the Go-Betweens very unconventional music scores, here the guitar starts off a rift then twists off at the end, it is unusual but it works.
The title track features Robert Forester singing in a echoing voice which is backed by a solid dark, almost Joy Division-esq bass-line from Grant to produce a chilling piece.
Dusty in here shows Grant McLennan’s phenomenal ability to describe surroundings in his words so well that it’s as if you’re there, in this case you feel like you are trapped in cold and dry enclosing. As a result you can be trapped by the music and hang off his every word to take notice.
Ask, again sees Robert singing in a dark echoing style, however his guitar, Grant’s bass and Lindy’s drumming also have a clear voice almost as if they are all singing along with him as they go from being loud and energetic to being quiet and cold and follow Robert’s voice around.
Cattle and Cane is probably a song which you would have to hear to believe it exists, it’s that good. Just listening to the song will transport you to the cane fields in regional Queensland even if you’ve never been there. The texture and atmosphere that is put out in this song is second to none and it has such a lasting ability that it will never sound old or tired. How this song didn’t become a worldwide number 1 hit is a mystery.
By chance has a kind of punk-rock vibe to it, sounding a little rough around the edges, the main difference to this and most punk-rock music is the instrumentation is flawless.
As long as that sees both Robert and Grant singing a duet, in the verses they alternate while the chorus sees the two sing together in a charismatic style.
Robert takes on a spoken word approach in On My Block, his powerful angsty delivery is very effective while Grant McLennan’s melodic vocals on the chorus work well in creating a contrast effect.
The album closes with the upbeat poppy single That way. While this song is one of the more upbeat and radio friendly tunes it still posses the depth and charm that the previous 9 songs had. This makes it an even bigger mystery as to why it wasn’t a bit hit at the time.
This is without a doubt a landmark album not only for Australian music but also for music world, which inspired and influenced many future performers. This was an album where the Go-Betweens put into place some of their unusual but effective tunes and very powerful words, which would shape the form of one of the best bands, Australia has ever seen! If you haven’t heard this classic album then you really are missing out!