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Blurred Crusade review from Sounds 1982 Print E-mail
Friday, 01 January 1982

Unknown author. From Sounds sometime in 1982.

The Church: Blurred Crusade (Carrere CAL 140)

I PUT a spike into my vein and feel a charge so sharp and sure; I must be listening to the second Church LP! But who are The Church and why are these relics from the bygone beat age flirting with mid-sixties psychedelia?

Well, for a start they're from Australia and if there's one thing that can burn the best out of a bunch of reprobate surf groupies it's that bronzing Bondi Beach sun. But The Church are no frazzled revivalists. Like The Birthday Party, The Cramps, the very wonderfully psychotic Gun Club and perhaps most pertinently, the sadly defunct Soft Boys, The Church are merely built on the foundations of a golden era.

Their actual structure is inextricably caught up in the humour self-parody, satire and above all, respect, of and for the present. At a time when many leading artists are realising  that there are few new musical fields to plough and little left unsaid, The Church too are paying tribute. By opening and poking among rock's rich archives, they are leaving themselves free to explore their own ideas and dreams.

Soulful Steve Kilbey's lyrics are quietly preoccupied with dreams and other related imagery. Steve Kilbey's songs are songs of yearning and celebration, celebrating love lost and hopefully reganed. Love songs like "Just For You" and "To Be In Your Eyes", embellished with scintillating guitars (electric, acoustic and 12 string from Peter Koppes and Marty William-Piper [sic] respectively) and shot thorugh with the world-weariest vocals this side of the Only Ones.

If there's to be any criticism of the The Church it's  that their guitar sound is just a little too derivative of McGuinn and The Byrds. But y'know....Finally 'The Blurred Crusade' is produced by the heavily in-demand Bob Clearmountain who this year alone has performed similar services for Roxy Music and the Rolling Stongs. Not that The Church need such a superficial seal of approval.

I put a spike into these grooves and am intoxicated by songs of strength and redemption. Let us pray!

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