THE GREAT UNWASHED have an important place in Flying Nun's heritage -- a band that, over two very different records, created their own musical space with some swinging psych-pop that still sounds fresh and enjoyable today, over ten years since it was made.
Collection is a CD and tape release that combines the two records made by the Great Unwashed into a single package, fully annotated with their story told in liner notes by Dunedin rock writer, Richard Langston.
The first two-thirds of the Collection contain the album Clean Out Of Our Minds. Recorded at home in Christchurch by Hamish and David Kilgour in early 1983, just after they had disbanded their first band, The Clean, the album's eccentric low-key swing makes it -- as Richard Langston says -- "the ideal soundtrack to a lazy afternoon."
The electricity is snapped on in the last third of the Collection, however, in the form of Singles. These five songs were recorded at the end of a manic 25 date national tour in January, 1984, by the second line-up of the band in which Hamish and David had been joined by Peter Gutteridge, who they'd played with in the original 1979 line-up of The Clean. The swing is still there, but you can hear the menace particularly in "Duane Eddy" and the closer,"Boat With No Ocean".
The Great Unwashed split after adding another member in Christchurch (nothing was recorded by the group's final line-up featuring former Pin Group member, Ross Humphries). All three members of the band have continued to play -- David for a while in Stephen and now with a solo career; Hamish the reunited Clean with David and Robert Scott, and with a new band in New York, Mad Scene; and Peter in Snapper. The Great Unwashed represent a link in the chain that takes them all from their musical beginnings with The Clean to the music they each make today. Collection also just happens to still sound pretty bloody great.