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Starfish review (from Kerang?) Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 April 1988
Interesting review of Starfish.

The Church

'Starfish'

Arista 208 895

KKKK 1/2

Quirky, intriguing and altogether irresistible,The Church could by no stretch of the imagination be dubed a Metal band. I guess it's even dubious that you could label this Aussie four piece a rock band, but for some intangible reason, there's that little something in The Church's make-up that appeals to us rockers.

There are a lot of long-haired lotharios out there who are drawn to the ethereal sounds of The Church when 'heads down' just ain't the order of the day. Hey, even the hardest of hard lovin' dudes has his late night mellow moments.

The Church? The Birds' instant coffee of rock, perchance?

'Starfish' is the band's seventh studio album if I'm not mistaken, and while there ain't no radical shifting of sound or structure, there's the same atmospheric interest that the Church understand so well.

Bassist and vocalist Steve Kilbey is the lynchpin of the sound, his love-lorn manner of singing positively reeking of atmosphere, of the lonesome lone strummer, empty bottle Jack at his side in the deserted bar, lamenting the bad karma that follows him everywhere.

And y'know what, there's a true perverse delight in the mystique of misery. Hell, I'm gonna start blubbing if I listen to the likes of 'Under the Milky Way' or 'Lost' any more! David Lee Roth this ain't!

Despite having the most ridiculous surnames ever to grace band, the remaining three quarter of the Church (guitarist Marty Willson-Piper, drummer Richard Ploog and guitarist Peter Koppes) give me a whole lotta pleasure by playing very much like a band. No egoing out here, just a minute attention to what each song needs, such as the Police-like choppy guitar of 'Blood Money' or the total laid-back feel of the epic 'Destination'.

If you're looking for Vinnie Vincent to sear through your speakers and singe your eyebrows with some well wicked axemanship, then steer clear of 'Starfish' by about a million miles!

However, if you've got a soft spot for Lou Reed in his more mellow moments, if you have an ounce of soul down beneath that there leather jacket, if you can appreciate a band that most patently ain't in thsi game for the bread, then grab a hold of this record. It's one to treasure, one that will last.

Howard Johnson

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