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Seance review from 1983 - Australia Rolling Stone? Print E-mail
Sunday, 06 June 2010

I think this might be from Australian Rolling Stone

3 stars

Seance, The Church


The Church is quite unashamedly a psychedelic band, and that leaves themvelnerable to adverse criticism, despite their success. Stripped of the excellent Nick Launay mix, the beautifully recorded twelve-string guitar, the effects-riddled guitar parts and all the other trappings of a Church recording, the songs on Seance would be a bit thin. Steve Kilbey's singing is, in  isolation, flat and monotonous. His lyrics are often a bit silly, his melodies slight. And yet there is something special about the Church; despite it all, they make ..... (missing line on photocopy) for a current psychedelic sound, Seance combines Sixties techniques (familiar to anyone with a copy of the band's first two albums) with a certain modernism. Ultimately, it is the most modern tracks which work best. On "One Day" and "travel By Thought," the band sheds its Byrds-style trappings and sounds, albeit briefly, quite unique. For this they have drummer Richard Ploog to thank; it is largely his assertive playing which seems to bring the Church into the present, providing a backbone for Kilbey's cloying momanticism.

Like previous Church records, Seance has its hits. For a band that is really more exploratory and inventive than deliberately pop-market oriented, they deliver playable singles with some consistency. While "It's No Reason," the first single, is the best-constructed song on the album, there are several other reasonably strong tracks. It's as an album, however - as a high-volume listening experience - that Seance works. Neither overly passe nor incredibly modern, neither indulgent nor hit-laden, it's the sort of self-sufficient, apolitical pop/.rock album record companies dream about.And the Church keep making them.


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