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Starfish review - a guest player on mandolin? Print E-mail
Friday, 01 January 1988

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Starfish Review


The Church



The Church's antecedents are the Byrds, Bowie and Pink Floyd, but the Australian band's guitar-charged sound is unique. Artful and phosphorescent, it's the result of eight years' work and startlingly sympathetic, original production by Los Angeles session veterans Waddy Wachtel and Greg Ladanyi. The Church is the brainchild of bassist and lead vocalist Steve Kilbey: until "Starfish," this band's best was "The Church" (Capitol, 1982), which yielded the gorgeous "The Unguarded Moment." The topics include space travel ("Destination," "Under The Milky Way"), the cost of love ("Blood Money" and "Hotel Womb"), and geography ("North, South, East and West," a lyrically muddled view of the West Coast, redeemed by the vaulting guitars of Marty Willson-Piper and Peter Koppes). The Church's focus on texture has often come at the expense of variety. But this boasts such individual touches as Willson-Piper's driven vocals on the atypically animated "Spark" and guest David Lindley's mandolin on the nasty "Antenna." While the dominant mood is brooding and dark (the insistent "Reptile" is absolutely scary), the textural range is refreshing.

- Carlo Wolff

Transcribed by Mike Fulmer

Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 December 2005 )
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