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Consumable online review of Hologram of Baal Print E-mail
Monday, 21 September 1998
Consumable Online review found at http://www.westnet.com/consumable/1998/09.21/c980921.txt  REVIEW: The Church, _Hologram of Baal_ (Thirsty Ear)
- Joe Silva
Just as most of the alternative set were grooving along to
_Starfish_, The Church's 1988 high watermark LP, the band told Rolling
Stone of all people that there music was better understood by those who already been...er...um.."experienced." It essentially was a bang on statement that the video to the album's killer track ("Under The
Milky Way") made indisputably clear. But while the band was busy
circling the globe a couple of times to capitalize on the LP's
achievement, they forgot to jot down "write more material while the
getting is good..." into their tour agendas.  From there on, the
partnership between core members Peter Koppes, Marty Wilson-Piper,
and Steve Kilbey failed to come up with an ultra-successful blend of
pop and this undiluted psychedelia that could continue to make good
on their brief success.

While never having been completely inactive, the band return
again now with a fresh label deal and yet another set of guitar
dreamscapes to promote. But while the songs are still lush and still
wonderfully trippy, _Hologram of Baal_ may not quite be the comeback
record that the band have hoped for. Launched with an intriguing
assortment of electronic quivers and pulses, "Anaesthesia" begins like
a transmission from some  otherworldy coop where the band and their
muse have been set to rust. But almost instantaneously, the song falls
into a mid-tempo grind that the LP really doesn't escape thereafter.
The melodies are so often wispy that even when the choruses might have some flesh about them, they aren't asserted with a sufficient amount of vim to capture your attention for long. Kilbey's singing still has that pleasant abstract Dylan-esque quality to it, and Piper is still
quite handy at generating big atmospheres, but beyond that most of
these tepid numbers never sufficiently warm the album's jets enough to
help it sustain flight.
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