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Forget Yourself review from fakejazz.com Print E-mail
Friday, 02 April 2004

Originally published at http://www.fakejazz.com/reviews/2004/church.shtml

The Church - Forget Yourself
(SpinArt)

Australia's finest return from a three-year absence with their 17th full length (including several 2xCD sets), which picks up with the same amazingly high quality as After Everything, Now This. Marty Willson-Piper and Peter Koppes' guitar duels are as majestic as ever and the balls-grabbing opener ("Sealine") will make you immediately prick up your ears and pay attention. "Song In Space" features their wall-of-guitars sonic assault a la The Chameleons and Echo & The Bunnymen, and after 25 years, the lads can still find new ways to amaze us with such effective little flourishes as the brutal Spanish guitar solo ending "The Theatre and Its Double" and the exquisite, I-never-knew-they-had-it-in-them Beach Boys' harmonies opening "Telepath."
Other Church trademarks we've come to expect and enjoy are Steven Kilbey's meaninglessly enigmatic lyrics, sung with the conviction of someone whose life depended on every word, and their signature floating, spacey ballads ("Maya," "Summer"). Kilbey steps aside to let Koppes turn in a soft, easy-listening pop gem with "Appalatia," and the swaying, hook-y grooves of the atmospheric, psychedelic trilogy, "June," "Don't You Fall," and "I Kept Everything" are perhaps the closest to the band's Heyday (pun intended). Another favorite is the aforementioned 7-minute closer, "Summer," a particularly soft-cushioned landing where you can, indeed, sit back, close your eyes, drift away and Forget Yourself.

Don't go too far, though, as you won't want to miss the pleasures tucked away inside the 3-track, half-hour bonus EP. Opening with the ambient, cinematmospheric, fifteen-minute epic, "Serpent Easy," a 21st century version of The Cure's "Carnage Visors" and a classic example of a soundtrack in search of a film, the band seque into the punny, alphabetical exercise "Cantilever" [read "Can't I Leave Her?"], which sounds like a U2 outtake, complete with Kilbey's pretentious Boner [Ed. Bono ?]posturing. The third track, "Moodertronic" is a ruminating, acoustic guitar solo (think "Fripp"ertronics on 'ludes), which reminds me of the intro to The Blurred Crusade's "Just For You" expanded to a luxurious four minutes.

jeff penczak
2004 apr 2

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