First Opinions

Well, the Americans have beaten us to it again. Magician Among The Spirits has hits US stores before Australia, so I'm passing on other people's opinions without being able to give my own :-(

I've lifted these from the Seance mailing list, which is the best place for Church fans to meet and chat.

Dick Powell starts with an article from ICE.
The following note on the Church appears in this month's ICE magazine (Santa Monica, California, 7/96).

-later, Dick


Steve Kilbey and Marty Willson-Piper of the Church welcome back Peter Koppes to the fold with the June 18 release of Magician Among The Spirits on White/Deep Karma. Some of the album's 10 tracks are joined by instrumental interludes. "They had major-label offers for the album," Feedback Music Distribution's Chris Kouzes tells ICE, "but they really wanted to do it on their own." According to Kouzes, the album will ring true with devoted Church goers. "The last Church album was real atmospheric and moody; the tracks on the new album get back to their song-structured formula, like the music around the time of [1990's] Gold Afternoon Fix album." The newly reunited Australian outfit is expected to tour the U.S. for the first time in five years, beginning this summer.

ICE - The CD News Authority (


I got lucky and found a single copy of MATS at a Best Buy in Oklahoma City.

 I guess no one else in this state gets one.  I agree with the observation

that this one really grows on you after a few listens.  It is very moody and

the sound is very lush and layered, but gee, should I be surprised by that? 


Subject: more MATS info

MATS should be generally available in the U.S.  I got mine at Best Buy (one

of those electronic superstores) for $12.99.  A sticker on it says made

in Australia, and the label is Deep Karma/White, but given the price

this probably isn't being distributed as an import.

Early verdict: good.  Better than 99% of the crap out there, but no

Blurred Crusade, Heyday, Starfish or P=A (nor as good as Snow job, IMHO).

It's diverse: 

1 epic (MATS-14 min.)

1 almost epic (It Could Be Anyone-8 min.)

1 cover (Ritz)

3 instrumentals (Grandiose, Romany Caravan, Afterimage)

1 song sung by MWP (The Further Adventures of the Time Being; he also

    sings on Ritz and MATS).

This leaves The Welcome (outstanding opening track), Comedown (only track 

with radio potential, also great) and Ladyboy (as many have said, blah).

Let's hope for a Comedown ep with lots of b-sides.


i just can't help this......

looks like we have another Spinal Tap association to make with our 

fearless heros...

in the beginning lyric of 'further adventures of the time being', marty 

sings, 'they built the pyramyds, toiled with tons of stone.  irrigated 

deserts, made giant golden thrones.'

sounds suspiciously like the further adventures of spinal taps', 

'stonehenge'.  see for yourself....

sp- 'the druids.  no one knows who they were..... or.. what they were 

doing there.'

well, decide for yourself........

From: Kip McClanahan 

I'm in Austin, TX and was happy to hear that Waterloo records

had 150 copies. They also put it out up front with a big hand-made

sign that says: "NEW CHURCH!!!"

about the album: has anyone noticed that the lyrical content is 

somewhat lacking?  I mean, there are moments of SK brilliance, but

really much less than I had hoped.

From: (Brian L. Turner)


Subject: My Take On MAS

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I must say that I was suprised to see MAS as an Aussie import in

America before it has even been released in Australia.


This disc takes repeated listens to be appreciated.  I am a bit

disappointed with the overall disc though.  It seems that after the 

first three tracks (Welcome,Comedown,Ritz) MAS falls short of the 

mark. Two of the three instrumentals could have used a few vocal 

tracks. To me this album lacks FEELING, but it is a good album just

not that memorable of one.

Welcome - Excellent, worth the price of admission

Comedown - very radio friendly

Ritz - Hauntingly Beautifull

Grandoise - Where's the Vocals? Good instrumental

Ladyboy - somewhat catchy chorus, but misses still.

It Could Be Anyone - My least favourite track. Should have been

                     replaced with a proposed B-side track.

The Further Adv. Of The Time Being - The album picks back up here.

                                     Very interesting song.  In the

                                     same tradition as "Dome" & 


Romany Caravan - Did not think much of this one.

Magician Among The Spirits - Drone's on,but a cool song to listen 

                             to in a darkened room.

Afterimage - Good instrumental

From: Eve 

Oh, wow. I really disagree here (no offense to you, Brian). As I said, 

the CD evokes something in the 'primal' region. As don't so much 

'listen' to it, as FEEL it. Try sleeping to it; turn off the lyrics for a 

bit; and then sit back, closing your eyes. This CD REALLY flows...the 

'feel' of it flowing from one song to another, in washes of 'primal' 

sound. I really didn't notice a few of the songs are instrumental. The 

strength here is drums, emotions, and sound washes.


MATS is awesome...Well worth the wait!!! 



Subject: my chump change on MATS

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Hi there churchgoers,

        I thought I'd sit here and defend MATS for a little bit.  Granted,

my opinion is biased, but I really like the disc alot.  I agree with the

'primal' description to a degree.  I also agree that it is something you

have to be 'in the mood for'.  If you're not in the right frame o'mind, you

probably won't be able to get into it.  Fortunately, I was in the right mind

to listen to it.


        I also like the way Steve & Marty trade vocals.  A couple of times I

found myself who was singing and wasn't it steve earlier in the song?  My

only complaint is that there is only 10 tracks,  I WANT MORE!!! 

Welcome -just a cool tune.

Comedown -Commercial?  Yeah I guess so.  But then, like the man says: That's

the blues man.

Ritz -I've never heard this live, so hearing this now I was just in awe.

Grandiose -I think this instrumental kicks butt.  I kind of harkens me back

to the days of listening to Joe Satriani, I think.  Only better.

Ladyboy -I think this has some really underrated guitar & bass action.

It Could Be Anyone -One of my favorites, actually.  i don't know why, it

just is.  For some reason it just struck me on the first listen.

The Further Adventures.... -Wonderful!  Wonderful!  Play very loud in the

car, it's very cool that way.

Romany Caravan -reminds me of ...*something*  I can't quite figure it out.

Maybe if Loveblind were an instrumental that smashed into Happy Haunting

Ground on the way to visit Aura.

MATS -*EPIC*.  I love epic songs.  Very moody, though.  I can see how if you

aren't in the mood(y) it can get a little trying.

Afterimage -Excellent instrumental.  Perfect title and perfect placement, it

does fit right in with the cover afterimage shot.

Okay that's a whole lotta two cents.  

Karen Grandage summarized the role of Seance and Shadow Cabinet quite neatly. Hope its OK to use your fine words and sentiments, Karen !

From: "Karen K. Grandage" 


Without even listening to it, I must say that what has been the most exciting

thing about all of this --  is the new knowledge I have gained, thanks to

this list, about all that goes into a group making and producing music (down

to picking out the cover art).  We saw this baby's conception, growth and now

its birth - and I feel like any proud parent who wants to nurture it to


My thanks to all of you for how your knowledge and words have enriched the

entire Church experience for me.


That's it for now - there doesn't seem to be much problem with availability at the moment. If you can't it now it should be in a store near you next week. Enjoy !

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