Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Church

The Church were an Australian rock band formed in Canberra in 1980. Best known for the shimmering "Under the Milky Way," their lone Top 40 hit. The Church combined the jangling guitar pop of '60s icons like the Byrds with the opaque wordplay of front man Steve Kilbey to create a lush, melancholy brand of neo-psychedelic rich in texture and melody. A survey among readers of Melbourne newspaper The Age garnered 37,000 votes and the majority chose "Under the Milky Way" as the best Australian song of the last 21 years. Hindsight is a ‘Best of’ compilation of their music of the 80’s.

Gold Afternoon Fix was their sixth album and came after their most successful album; Starfish. It employed more ambient aspects, piano, acoustic guitars and keyboards. On some tracks, the music was punctuated by clanging metal, rustling wind or sharp, industrial sounds, like in some David Lynch movie. But the conflicting undercurrents were all there. "Metropolis" had a commercial, but typical Church ring, while the bleak "Pharaoh" concealed thinly veiled barbs at the stifling music industry around the band. Resigning tones dominated in some songs ("Monday Morning," "Disappointment"), while tinges of nostalgia filtered through others like "Fading Away" and "Laughing." During the making of this album Richard Plogg(drummer) left the band due to drug problems, as a result his drum tracks were sampled out and replaced by a rigid, but meter-perfect drum machine. Not their best but worth a listen.

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