Hunters & Collectors began their career by playing the pub scene in Australia and from there the band slowly inflated into semi-stardom, mainly in their homeland. Collected Works takes the best tracks from the first ten years of the band's existence and lays them out in chronological order, resulting in a wonderful compilation. The 15 tracks come from their self-titled album, The Jaws of Life, Human Frailty, Fate, and Ghost Nation, with "Lumps of Lead" stemming from the 1982 Pay Load EP. H&C's dusty, basement dwelling sound shadows the band with character, presenting them with an element of low-key personality that sets them apart from other groups. Each song has a rough-edged savvy surrounding it, either by the gritty guitar playing or the mournful eagerness in Mark Seymour's vocals. "January Rain" carries a desolate aura that hovers above the entire tune, and "Carry Me" speaks volumes with its emanating bass riff and building guitar. What makes this band shine is the ghost-like air that drifts through their sound, which eventually becomes solidified by the strength of their instruments. With heavy emphasis on concrete guitar rhythms, balanced out by the creative application of horns, H&C's music heightens slightly throughout the duration of each of their songs. Collected Works doubles as a must-have for fans as well as a splendid intro into this underrated band.
AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne