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Old 11-27-2013, 05:33 PM   #76
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It's funny you mention that, Laz. Any interferencers know anything about The Church?

The Church had been mainstays of college radio (i.e., "alternative rock", without the marketing/P.R.) for years leading up to this thoroughly accessible (but no less brilliant) neuvo-psychedelic classic that scores from opening track to closing echo in a whirwind of dreamy, breathy vocals and effects-laden guitars chiming away like some ethereal clock ticking away to enlightenment.

ANYONE over the age of 35 should be familiar with the band's signature track "Under The Milky Way", one of the tracks from 1988 which pretty much set the table for the rise of college radio as mainstream "alternative rock" in the early '90's ("Head Like A Hole" from Nine Inch Nails and "Mountain Song" by Jane's Addiction being two others); it is a simple song given a lush arrangement and production values that fly under the radar...until you try to play the song yourself and realize that your effort, note-perfect thought it may be, sounds nothing like the Church's album version. Any band would be thankful to be associated by default with such a beautiful song.

And though it may be the most recognizable track and the one most likely to be remembered by casual fans, the strength of this album is that there are no throwaway tracks to be found (with the possible exception of "Spark", perhaps not incoincidentally one of the tracks bassist/main lyricist/vocalist Steve Kilbey does NOT sing lead vocal). "Destination", The opening track sets the mood perfectly, a single guitar followed by bass and drums, each seeming to attempt more restrain than the other follow, leading to a crescendo that takes you instead back to the beginning as Kilbey begins the first verse. "Under The Milky Way" is a perfect successor track. "Blood Money" is a bit of a let-down in the three spot; it seems to be two (at least) partial songs combined to form one with decidely mixed results.

"Lost", however, is an absolute joy to listen to. It's a total stoner vibe (I still remember the Rolling Stone write-up where Kilbey said "It might help to take a lot of acid to better understand my lyrics") that you just can't help laying back and closing your eyes to as you drift off to...somewhere. "North, South, East and West" brings you back, splash-of-cool-water-in-the-face style with a fantastic guitar riff that announces the most up-tempo and aggressive song on the album. Fantastic guitar work by both Marty Willson-Piper and Peter Koppes.

Track 6, the afore-mentioned "Spark" would lead off Side 2 of this album on LP or cassette, weakly in my opinion. Its attitude is out-of-place on this album, and I almost never listen to it. "Antenna" is a different story, though. A finer waltz beat in pop music hasn't been heard since the days of the Doors. "Reptile", the second single/video, is another up-tempo song with an almost schizophrenic distinction between verse and chorus. Steve Kilbey's bass slithers between the guitars of Koppes and Willson-Piper as the defining instrument of the song.

Peter Koppes turns the lead vocal on the longing "New Season", jingle-jangly Byrds-like guitars a-plenty and "Hotel Womb" closes the album on an upbeat note, praising the endless succession of sanctuaries found on the road, the hotel rooms where it IS possible for travelling musicians to avoid more trouble than they can get into.

It could be said that the Church never released an album as cohesive as "Starfish" again, though the musicianship from this album remains a constant. This is the most accessible effort the Church would ever produce, and anyone who appreciates good songwriting, artful arrangement, and general psychedelia will find a regular rotation slot for this CD. It is absolutely one of the finest albums of the 1980's and produced so sufficiently free of the gimmicks of that era that it still sounds relevant today. Not an easy trick for most of that decade's better releases.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:40 PM   #77
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:01 PM   #78
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Really need to get myself a new computer - don't think that I've listened to 15 albums this year!! I'll need to abstain.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:36 PM   #79
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this album will not get any love from anyone who isn't me, but i will tell you about it anyway.

the welch boys - bringing back the fight

while it hits all the eye-rolling musical and lyrical cliches of the genre--the token attempts at hardcore songs, three chord riffs that run the risk of sounding all the same, the bro anthems about the old days and drinking too much. it is also a textbook example of why east coast street punk will always be my favorite kinds of music--simple, anthemic, catchy, and a ubiquitous blitz cover. the welch boys do it as well as anybody (although sometimes i have to admit i preferred the blue bloods). they'll never top the first album, but the one from this year is a step up from their second album. there's no welcome home like landing in boston while listening to "617" (and i'm not even from there). the new one doesn't really have anything that packs such an immediate punch as that song, the upper deck, les paul, etc. hand grenade comes very, very close, and reminds me i can listen to all the post-rock in the world, but it's never going to beat this kind of stuff for me. in a perfect world, the dropkick murphys would still be making this kind of music. but the world is shitty, and dkm's album from the beginning of the year was pretty awful. this is far, far superior. it's rock n roll.

The Welch Boys, "Hand Grenade" from Sailor's Grave Records - YouTube
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:38 PM   #80
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tl;dr
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:54 AM   #81
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Rewind the Film by the Manic Street Preachers should be #1

Kanye West is awful - that new single with Kim K in the video is the worst song of the year
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Old 11-28-2013, 02:33 AM   #82
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Or, shifty video aside, maybe the best single of the year.

Must be a triple disqualification for you: he's American, not working class, and black.
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Old 11-28-2013, 02:55 AM   #83
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Or, shifty video aside, maybe the best single of the year.

Must be a triple disqualification for you: he's American, not working class, and black.
First 2 points, yes, but not the last
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:00 AM   #84
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Let him have his vote because he put the Manics album first.
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:02 AM   #85
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I'm pretty sure Charli's locked in at #1 for me, but we'll see.
She's nearly tops for me as well. If my penis were voting, she'd automatically win this.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:13 PM   #86
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Let him have his vote because he put the Manics album first.
No reason he can't vote if he stays within the rules. Manics may make my list as well.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:32 PM   #87
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Manics will definitely make my list. Always nice to see them getting some love.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:50 PM   #88
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tl;dr
What, mine? It was a paragraph. Next time I'll get on amazon and copy and paste at least five paragraphs. Then you can tell me it's too long.
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:29 PM   #89
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What, mine? It was a paragraph. Next time I'll get on amazon and copy and paste at least five paragraphs. Then you can tell me it's too long.
Was only kidding; mostly because you started with "...I will tell you about it anyway."
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:00 PM   #90
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Should have gone with the "you're right, we don't care." That one I would have understood.
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2013, best music, best of the year, favorite albums, rip jeff goldblum

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