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Review of Heyday Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 January 1986
The Church - Heydey (Yes, that's how they spelled it !)
By John Harrison

Every day seems to find another candidate for admission to the ever growing
brotherhood of guitar-toting clans.  Some of these are capable, even gifted,;
yet there seems to be an inordinate number hell-bent on jangling us into
submission or blinding us with radiant white badges with the words SINCERITY
firmly embossed on them

Yet, while a goodly number of these bands are the recipients of extravagant
critical acclaim, The Church, which covered a lot of this territory (but with
more style) three years ago, is practically ignored.  In 1986 they still have
crystalline guitars and rousing imagery that renders most of their imitators
redundant, even if their latest offering Heydey (sic.) is at times a patchy
proposition.

You are found wondering, for example, what a transcendental song like
Disenchanted with its delicate filigrees is doing on the same album as a
corpulent plodder like Tantalized, which sounds like nothing so much as sloppy
U2 (erk! that name again !) outtake.  Incredibly, it has been chosen as the
follow-up to the taunting Already Yesterday.  That amounts to a case of
sabotage even the French Secret Service would be proud of.

It is a particularly strange choice because, apart from the overlong
instrumental Happy Hunting Ground, the remainder of the material is as strong
as anything the band has ever done, and that includes songs from the sublime
Blurred Crusade.  Myrrh, Columbus, Night of Lights (sic) and the
aforementioned Disenchanted are The Church at their intoxicating best, with
guitars that at once suggest tranquility and menace and the plaintive tease of
their lyrics.

The production of Peter Walsh is laudable.  He has enhanced the band's
undeniable assets - the fragile elegance of Steve Kilbey's voice and those
exquisite guitars, without trying to inject any form of unnecessary
flamboyance into the mix.  Consequently, the essentially muted beauty of The
Church is left intact, something other producers have failed to achieve.

The Church presents a challenge to us all.  They do not flounder like so many
others trying to keep up with new trends; they do not have to because their
music is eternal.  If that means from time to time they're not considered
'hip', that doesn't seem to worry them and neither should it worry you.  As
long as groups like The Church stick around, guitar based pop will continue to
breathe life.
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