The Church: new albums, new tours, cranky old bastards. What's not to love? - Page 19 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Lemonade Stand > Just the Bang and the Clatter
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-21-2009, 06:06 AM   #271
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
I got a kick out of this review of Steve and Marty's new solo albums -- not only was it a decent review, it was also hilarious in spots. I highlighted some of my favourite bits in bold. Always nice to have some humour in reviews.

Review of SK's Painkiller and MWP's Nightjar on PopMatters. link

By John Bergstrom

Quote:
For some bands, the alchemy that occurs when several disparate personalities walk into a studio is nearly absolute. This impression solidifies over time, as a sound is forged, honed, and then shaped into albums. To try and figure out who brings exactly what to the table seems beside the point, as the music seems to emerge wholly formed, with a personality of its own.

That’s been the case with the Australian band the Church for over 20 years now. Since 1988’s breakthrough Starfish album at least, they’ve worked their expansive, psychedelic, yet often highly melodic guitar-pop into something of an institution. With each successive album, the sound is tweaked and the songs are new, but the sonic footprint is familiar and natural.

Under these circumstances, the simultaneous emergence, originally in 2008, of solo albums by both lyricist/singer/bassist Steve Kilbey and guitarist Marty Willson-Piper offers a rare opportunity. All four Church principals are continually involved in a web of side-projects and one-offs. These true solo albums, though, the first by either artist in seven-plus years, give a fairly revealing picture of Kilbey’s and Willson-Piper’s contributions to the mother band. That’s because Painkiller and Nightjar could both be considered quintessential. Also, they find their creators, both now on the far side of 50, confident and sonically ambitious as ever.

Basically, Kilbey is the brooding, experimental, slightly mad sonic shaman, while Willson-Piper is the traditionalist, the virtuoso guitarist steeped in the singer/songwriter tradition. That’s oversimplification, of course. Also, and crucially, both Kilbey and Willson-Piper have long ago shifted away from traditional rock’n’roll archetypes. If anyone’s taking an artistic leap here, it’s Willson-Piper, putting down his most thoughtful, folk-leaning set of tunes to date. Still, the two sonic identities are laid out in the music.

Painkiller is classic Kilbey from the very first track. His enchanting, sing/speak voice hasn’t changed much in ages. Furthermore, “Outbound” rides on one of those mantra-like, trance basslines he’s been fond of for decades. Lyrically and vocally, it’s another in a series of stream-of-consciousness, free-associating rants. While hardly an artistic stretch, a song like this does allow you to be treated to couplets like, “Sonic anathema / Wake up you dreamer / I’m fallin’ outta’ Heaven gonna crash on your Beemer”. This all leads up to what has long been Kilbey’s trump card, an airy, melodic sigh of a chorus. You could even say it’s “catchy”.

The remainder of Painkiller finds Kilbey, working with Church drummer/producer Tim Powles, in similarly familiar territory, only sounding a bit closer to the Deep End than he has before.
The disoriented feeling is enhanced by the continuous stream of subterranean echoes, ghostly guitar effects, and disembodied radio transmissions that snakes through the album. At best, as on the shimmering, sublime “Celestial” or the too-brief “Look Homeward Angel”, the sound is a progression of the Church’s 1992 masterpiece, Priest=Aura. But some intensely personal moments do creep through the thick atmosphere. “Crystalline Rush” is an aching lament of lost time and dashed expectations, Kilbey admitting, “I thought it would be so much warmer / When I laid down with you”. Nearly three decades into his career, he tries on a naked falsetto to convey the vulnerability, and he gets away with it.

What Kilbey doesn’t get away with is some of the relatively aimless navel-gazing that has marred his other solo work. A pair of instrumental jams couch some nice moments, but chiefly distract from the spell. And “Spirit in Flame” is an overcooked dub excursion that goes nowhere. These moments make you wish he had thrown in a couple more of his jangle-pop red herrings, like the intoxicating “Wolfe”, instead. While Painkiller hardly rewrites the book on Kilbey, it does add a few worthwhile chapters, and suggests the bard still has plenty of spells in his pen.

If Kilbey is the Church’s resident bard, Willson-Piper is its trusty Rock Star. If the live show calls for someone to move around and make an awkward face while cranking out a guitar solo, he’s your man. Likewise, his songwriting has exhibited a certain bravado that sometimes lapses into pretension and thick-headedness of Spinal Tap proportions. His songwriting contributions to the Church’s albums have been stronger over the eight years since his last solo album, however, and Nightjar follows through on that promise. Sweeping 12-string guitars abound, but the rock ‘n ‘roll posturing is gone, allowing Willson-Piper to focus more on folk, singer/songwriter, and even country-western sounds. The result is unexpectedly warm and endearing.

The hypnotic opener “No One There” is about as psychedelic as Nightjar gets, but Willson-Piper keeps the noodling to a minimum, making up for any pretension with a blanketing arrangement and sharp horn blasts. “More Is Less”, the album’s strongest track, is strikingly good. A cascading acoustic arpeggio worthy of Lindsey Buckingham and austere strings again overcome clunker lyrics like “When is the end of the start?” And for the remainder of Nightjar, Willson-Piper settles into this serene, reflective, largely acoustic mood. “Feed Your Mind” is a singsong picture of rural domesticity, recalling Van Morrison and contemporaries such as the Lilac Time. The delicate ballad “I Must Have Fallen” is stark and affecting where it could have just as easily been dumb, just as “The Love You Never Had” credibly employs lap steel.

Like Kilbey, Willson-Piper is, at this point in his career, far from immune to his more wayward tendencies. His rich, friendly voice has never sounded warmer, but he often tries to cram too many words into his songs. Ironically, several of the songs go on longer than is necessary, or advisable before some boredom sets in. Also, depending on your vantage point, the soul-style female backing vocals and bamboo flute (!) solo on “Song for Victor Jara” are either nice touches or laughably self-indulgent.

Take the best halves of these two albums, and you’ve got one heck of a platter. But that’s really beside the point, as these US issues closely trail the new Church album. As usual, the band is better than the sum of its parts, but these time-tested parts command respect. More importantly, they hold up to repeated listening.
__________________

__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2009, 06:25 AM   #272
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
blueeyedgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bottom of the earth
Posts: 6,774
Local Time: 01:26 AM
I like the Spinal Tap reference. Hell, the Church are Spinal Tap
__________________

__________________
blueeyedgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2009, 07:47 AM   #273
Babyface
 
bonobear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 17
Local Time: 10:56 AM
Untitled #23

Has anyone else here heard the new Church album Untitled #23?

Masterpiece.

Dense, hypnotic and a feast for the ears. I haven't stopped playing it since it came out. The five star review in Rolling Stone Australia is spot on...first we are treated to the excellent NLOTH and now U23 (have to love the irony in THAT abbreviation given SK's repulsion at comparisons to Bono!), truly a great year for music we all love.

Seriously, this new album is a grower with each listen. The layers that are found with each track cannot be overestimated, it's just that good. Dark and brooding with gorgeous melodies at every turn.

Cobalt Blue is a brooding opener in their classic mode, Deadman's Hand is trippy, and Pangaea is the most gorgeous thing released this year since Moment of Surrender. And that's just the first three tracks out of the ten soundscapes presented here. Probably their finest hour since 1992's Priest=Aura and for a band this good, that is saying something!

This new period of prolific releases sees these "old cranky bastards" getting better with each release. They are in it now for the pure love of creating gorgeous and textured music for themselves to sit back and admire.

I have tickets for both U2 and The Church this year and I don't think I could be any happier! I wonder what others think of the new album. I am in love with it (in case you didn't pick up on that
__________________
bonobear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2010, 02:24 AM   #274
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
I'm posting in this thread instead of the other open Church one because I love the title (it's a good one, if I must say so myself ), and I think it fits with what I'm posting.

The Church was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame last night and Steve (with bits from Marty, Peter, and Tim) gave one hell of an acceptance speech! It's kinda long -- oh hell it's really long (the clip is nearly 16 minutes!) -- but it's hilarious, and remarkably sweet. In other words -- THIS is an acceptance speech.

Rockwiz uploaded the entire, unedited speech to their Facebook page because they got so many requests for it, but since it's so long it will have to be heavily edited for the broadcast show. So click here for the link and have a listen!

(you might have to have a facebook account to be able to see it).
__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2010, 07:26 AM   #275
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
blueeyedgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bottom of the earth
Posts: 6,774
Local Time: 01:26 AM
Awesome!!!! Richard Wilkins, on his entertainment spot on brekky tv the next day, gave SK's speech as his best moment of the night. Even with the Richard Wilde reference
__________________
blueeyedgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2010, 11:26 AM   #276
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
Although Steve got loads of attention for his "I-don't-have-a-speech speech, I think Marty may well have gotten the best line with "We've worked so hard to be aloof and enigmatic."


Here's a pic of Steve at rehearsals for the HoF. The really cool thing is that he's wearing the shirt (an image of Van Gogh's Starry Night) I sent him for his birthday.



and a link to a short interview done at the HoF award. Click here.

__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2010, 02:24 AM   #277
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
The edited for tv version of the acceptance speech -- only 10 minutes long.

YouTube - The Church - ARIA Hall of Fame 2010 Acceptance Speech

They are having to add new shows in a couple of cities for their tour, so perhaps the publicity is doing them some good.
__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 07:25 AM   #278
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
The Future Past Perfect 2011 Winter Tour is under way! About a week and a half before I see them. The following link is to the YouTube page of a user who uploaded videos of every song from Priest=Aura and Starfish (his battery died during Hotel Womb, so that song is cut off) as performed at the first show of the tour.

YouTube - zshad's Channel (this link takes you to Film)

(Swan Lake)

(Reptile)
__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2011, 09:56 AM   #279
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
blueeyedgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bottom of the earth
Posts: 6,774
Local Time: 01:26 AM
Ah, isn't it snowing there at the moment?
__________________
blueeyedgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2011, 07:47 AM   #280
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
I'm trying to think positively -- no snow, no ice!!! -- in the hope that the weather cooperates.

I do admit I quite frequently think "February?? Who the fuck thought a tour of mostly northern US states in February was a good idea??"
__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2011, 06:21 PM   #281
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
Weather is good (whew!). Sound engineer fell off the stage in Chicago and broke both wrists...he's planning on finishing out the tour with a couple of wrist braces and then seeking additional treatment when he gets home (gotta love US health insurance ).

And the show...wow! It's not a jumping up and down, screaming your brains out show -- it's very much of a really paying attention to the music kind of show (in fact the house rules at the venue they played in last night include staying seated and silent during the shows -- and it worked for this show). I'm not sure the casual fan would be willing to spend 4 hours (including 2 intermission) for this show, but for serious fans it's wonderful. And so far those serious fans are turning out -- they are getting the best attendance they've had in years. Great to see. :-)
__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2011, 07:38 AM   #282
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
blueeyedgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bottom of the earth
Posts: 6,774
Local Time: 01:26 AM
Enjoy!!!!
__________________
blueeyedgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2011, 02:04 AM   #283
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
Not sure this will work...I tried to embed a video from Vimeo, but it didn't work, so I just linked to the video instead...so it will take you one more step to see it. Watch it anyway! Of course, it's not a video of any of the songs (need to did a few of those up..some of the songs were really intense live), it's a video Steve took of his very posh corner suite. I have to admit I rather like that it (the posh suite) is something different and fun for him instead of being "the usual."

http://thetimebeing.com/videos/abode/

__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2011, 05:28 AM   #284
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
Some more videos from the tour.

On Angel Street in Atlanta (last show). Very intense song, especially during the last week of the tour. The lights were way down for most of the song, so there's not much to see until the end, but the audio is quite good. I absolutely love this song live.

YouTube - The Church - On Angel Street - 2/22/11 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse - Future Past Perfect

Anchorage in Philadelphia. This one also gained a great deal of intensity from Philadelphia on. Hell, everything got more intense beginning in Philadelphia....

YouTube - The Church - Anchorage - Trocadero Theater

The Disillusionist in Philadelphia. That's our Killer....

YouTube - The Church - The Disillusionist - Trocadero Theater
__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 06:39 AM   #285
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 10:56 AM
Anchorage from their show w/full orchestra at the Sydney Opera House in April. Just a fan video, but the sound is pretty good. Supposed to be a tv special and a dvd of the show. Looking forward to that.

YouTube - The Church - Live at the Opera House - Anchorage (April 2011)
__________________

__________________
indra is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
the church

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com