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The Church
  All I ever wanted to see...was just invisible to me.
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Of Skins and Hearts review Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 January 1981

This review was included in a press release for the American release of "The Church", a retitled Of Skins And Heart with three tracks from the 1982 double single.  Sadly it doesn't include the source, but the reviewers name is there. The release itself is from January 1982, so the review is from sometime before that.

 For reference, the track list on this album is:

  1. The Unguarded Moment (4:17)
  2. Too Fast For You (3:28)
  3. For A Moment We're Strangers (3:52)
  4. Tear It All Away (4:10)
  5. Don't Open The Door To Strangers (3:24)
  6. Bel-Air (3:56)
  7. Sisters (4:05)
  8. Memories In Future Tense (4:44)
  9. Is This Where You Live (7:38)

(Thanks, fipster!)

The Church's debut LP beings with a song so captivating that it took about (conservatively) a dozen listenings to it alone before I could let the tone arm track down the rest of side one.

Imagine, if you will, the Searcher's Needles And Pins guitar mutated into When You Walk In the Room, played and sung by the Only Ones. Then you've got some idea of the intial intensity generated by Steve Kilbey and The Church's The Unguarded Moment.

Ringing guitars (in the same sense that gave the Byrds distinction in the mid 60s) are they key focus of Australia's The Church, but while they indeed can help put forth some music that can border on rock-popular brilliant, they can also be misused, a a fact which the band apparently becomes aware of after pushing the next three songs through similar structurs and losing effectiveness further with each track.

The second side again kicks off with a killer track (add Ducks Deluxe pub/Dylanesque to the chimey backup), but does not again become totally effective until the records' final track (seven and one-half minutes of Is This Where You Live). even though that track takes quite a while to finally rev up to the guitar ring groove that is the reason for its overal success.

The Church seems to know (or at least discovered before the end of side one) that they can become passe if they live by the signature guitar. though most of their writing attempts fall short, tracks like The Unguarded Moment and Bel Air should serve to warrant them another shot.


Tom Luba 

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