Any other fans of The Church out there?

General music discussion.
WestwayKid
User avatar
Graffiti Bandit Pioneer
Posts: 1234
Joined: 20 Sep 2017, 8:22am
Location: Mill-e-wah-que

Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by WestwayKid » 19 Dec 2017, 11:10am

Been diving back into their catalog recently. I've long been a big fan. Their new LP is very good, but I've really been digging 2002's After Everything Now This. It's mellower and more contemplative...maybe because Steve Kilbey was finally kicking his heroin addiction around the same time. Just a great band who have somehow managed to survive all these years and still make good music without sounding dated.

Kory
User avatar
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 8799
Joined: 17 Jun 2008, 1:42pm
Location: In the Discosphere

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by Kory » 19 Dec 2017, 1:27pm

I've checked them out a few times but they haven't yet grabbed me. What do you find appealing about them? I may be missing something.
Inder:
Absolutely. Here's another collection of words:

Table salt (spoon hinge)
Octopus (Ukraine)
St. Petersburg (arms)
Ginger beer (cauliflower)
Pat Sajak (PSak)
Lamp post (self evident)
Florida Timeshare (ditto)
Heraclitus (EMI)
Developers (Developers Developers)
Boogie With Your Children

WestwayKid
User avatar
Graffiti Bandit Pioneer
Posts: 1234
Joined: 20 Sep 2017, 8:22am
Location: Mill-e-wah-que

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by WestwayKid » 19 Dec 2017, 4:26pm

I’ll admit my first exposure to the band was hearing “Under the Milky Way” which has become a ubiquitous song. That said, it is a good starting point to what makes them (in my opinion) an interesting band.

The guitar interplay has always fascinated me with the atmospheric jangle of Marty Willson-Piper (who is actually no longer with the band, but his replacement is solid) contrasted against louder and more emotive playing of Peter Koppes. This duel lead – with a lot of weaving and blending of sounds has always created some interesting landscapes. Willson-Piper quit a few years back and was replaced with Powderfinger’s Ian Haug, but that dynamic remains.

I’ve always found front man Steve Kilbey to be fascinating. An underrated bass player who plays like a frustrated guitarist. As a singer, his cool, detached, sometimes eerie croon is perfect for elevating his lyrics – which sometimes can be a little half baked – but his delivery – sometimes playful, sometimes a little menacing – sometimes very menacing helps make everything he sings seem heavier than it might be.

They’re also challenging. You’re one of the converted or you don’t get it. They’re not a band who are going to hook someone on the first listen. You have to almost work at it and their best music takes a few spins before you realize how good it is and once you get to that point you can easily lose yourself exploring the dark corners because you’re always hearing something new.

I also appreciate the fact that after 36 years they can still release an album that sounds relevant and fresh. They’ve never traded on former glories. They went through some tough times in the late-90’s and early oughts – Steve Kilbey battled a bad heroin addiction – but they rebounded in 2002 and since then have released some of the strongest recordings of their career.

I don’t know if I’m doing a good job of selling them or not – but it’s sometimes hard trying to pinpoint something that hits you in the brain and the gut. I think they’re just a great combo of sound and word. They’re playing is powerful (lots of loud guitars, powerful drumming) and emotive and atmospheric. I sometimes (well, often) I have no idea what Kilbey is singing about – but it works.

Their last two releases are actually good starting points (2017’s “Man Woman Life Death Infinity” and 2014’s “Further/Deeper”). 2002’s “After Everything Now This” captures their more atmospheric side, while 1992’s “Priest=Aura” is a loud, insane, psychedelic masterpiece.

Kory
User avatar
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 8799
Joined: 17 Jun 2008, 1:42pm
Location: In the Discosphere

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by Kory » 19 Dec 2017, 6:23pm

WestwayKid wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 4:26pm
I’ll admit my first exposure to the band was hearing “Under the Milky Way” which has become a ubiquitous song. That said, it is a good starting point to what makes them (in my opinion) an interesting band.

The guitar interplay has always fascinated me with the atmospheric jangle of Marty Willson-Piper (who is actually no longer with the band, but his replacement is solid) contrasted against louder and more emotive playing of Peter Koppes. This duel lead – with a lot of weaving and blending of sounds has always created some interesting landscapes. Willson-Piper quit a few years back and was replaced with Powderfinger’s Ian Haug, but that dynamic remains.

I’ve always found front man Steve Kilbey to be fascinating. An underrated bass player who plays like a frustrated guitarist. As a singer, his cool, detached, sometimes eerie croon is perfect for elevating his lyrics – which sometimes can be a little half baked – but his delivery – sometimes playful, sometimes a little menacing – sometimes very menacing helps make everything he sings seem heavier than it might be.

They’re also challenging. You’re one of the converted or you don’t get it. They’re not a band who are going to hook someone on the first listen. You have to almost work at it and their best music takes a few spins before you realize how good it is and once you get to that point you can easily lose yourself exploring the dark corners because you’re always hearing something new.

I also appreciate the fact that after 36 years they can still release an album that sounds relevant and fresh. They’ve never traded on former glories. They went through some tough times in the late-90’s and early oughts – Steve Kilbey battled a bad heroin addiction – but they rebounded in 2002 and since then have released some of the strongest recordings of their career.

I don’t know if I’m doing a good job of selling them or not – but it’s sometimes hard trying to pinpoint something that hits you in the brain and the gut. I think they’re just a great combo of sound and word. They’re playing is powerful (lots of loud guitars, powerful drumming) and emotive and atmospheric. I sometimes (well, often) I have no idea what Kilbey is singing about – but it works.

Their last two releases are actually good starting points (2017’s “Man Woman Life Death Infinity” and 2014’s “Further/Deeper”). 2002’s “After Everything Now This” captures their more atmospheric side, while 1992’s “Priest=Aura” is a loud, insane, psychedelic masterpiece.
Well I'll continue checking them out then. Are they Australian? That will move them up a few pegs for me.
Inder:
Absolutely. Here's another collection of words:

Table salt (spoon hinge)
Octopus (Ukraine)
St. Petersburg (arms)
Ginger beer (cauliflower)
Pat Sajak (PSak)
Lamp post (self evident)
Florida Timeshare (ditto)
Heraclitus (EMI)
Developers (Developers Developers)
Boogie With Your Children

muppet hi fi
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 4709
Joined: 19 Feb 2009, 1:10pm

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by muppet hi fi » 19 Dec 2017, 7:22pm

Been a big fan since '83. I walked into Oarfolkjokeopus at 26th & Lyndale (my go-to record store then and the home of Peter Jesperson, the manager of the Replacements), heard "One Day" from their 3rd album 'Seance', blasting from the stereo and asked the brilliant Terry Katzman if it was a new Only Ones album (as main lead vocalist/bassist Steve Kilbey has a bit in common with Peter Perrett re: his early Lou Reed subversive croon). Terry told me they were the Church, from Sydney. I bought it on the spot, went back a week later for their first two import albums, was hooked.

They've got this great dual guitar vibe and Kilbey's lyrics are poetic to the point of being opaque. There's loads of Bowie influence - both the Spiders in the rocking Ronson guitar glory, and the mid/late '70s Krautrock vibe, also Beatles/Stones mid-'60s psych pop.

I've seen them I think seven times live, and they're mighty and fill a room with big time atmosphere. Kory - I think you'd dig them, or at least certain aspects of them, as they aren't a "one trick pony" type band, but do have a very distinctive sound/vibe.

And yes - they're Australian, tho Kilbey and Marty Wilson-Piper were born in England, and Marty's guitar sparring partner, Peter Koppes, was born in South Africa. Original drummers Nick Ward (1st album only) and glory years drummer Richard Ploog were both Aussies. Tim Powles - drummer and producer since '95 or so, is a Kiwi from New Zealand.
Strong shoes is what we got and when they're hot they're hot!
- Marky Dread and his fabulous Screaming Blue Messiahs

Kory
User avatar
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 8799
Joined: 17 Jun 2008, 1:42pm
Location: In the Discosphere

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by Kory » 19 Dec 2017, 7:50pm

muppet hi fi wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 7:22pm
I've seen them I think seven times live, and they're mighty and fill a room with big time atmosphere. Kory - I think you'd dig them, or at least certain aspects of them, as they aren't a "one trick pony" type band, but do have a very distinctive sound/vibe.
This does sound up my alley. I'll dig in some more. Thanks!
Inder:
Absolutely. Here's another collection of words:

Table salt (spoon hinge)
Octopus (Ukraine)
St. Petersburg (arms)
Ginger beer (cauliflower)
Pat Sajak (PSak)
Lamp post (self evident)
Florida Timeshare (ditto)
Heraclitus (EMI)
Developers (Developers Developers)
Boogie With Your Children

WestwayKid
User avatar
Graffiti Bandit Pioneer
Posts: 1234
Joined: 20 Sep 2017, 8:22am
Location: Mill-e-wah-que

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by WestwayKid » 19 Dec 2017, 8:58pm

I’ve always loved Kilbey’s lyrics. I never know quite what he’s getting at (for the most part) and at times he can be out there and like I said - even a bit half baked...but his delivery sells it every single time. He just has that cool, detached voice. It doesn’t lack emotion - but his voice is all about being subtle.

Last time I saw them live was in a small club in Milwaukee on the Forget Yourself tour - probably late 2003. Show was extremely loud. Very powerful. Wilson-Piper was beset by PA problems off and on all night and finally stormed off during the last song of the main set. He didn’t come back out for encore and it was amazing to see Peter Koppes deftly handle both guitar parts on Tantalized.

I was a little worried when Wilson-Piper left a few years back - but Ian Haug has done a fine job filling in. I read an interview where Kilbey talked about looking for a new guitarist and said he knew they couldn’t bring in some weedy unknown - that they had to find someone with chops.

So...actually, the current line-up features 2 Australians! Haug is from Tasmania. Koppes is from Canberra. Kilbey - though born in England - moved to Canberra when he was five.

WestwayKid
User avatar
Graffiti Bandit Pioneer
Posts: 1234
Joined: 20 Sep 2017, 8:22am
Location: Mill-e-wah-que

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by WestwayKid » 19 Dec 2017, 9:06pm

Another great thing about them. A lot of bands in the new-psychedelic genre can be a little “precious” sound in regards to guitars - but The Church have a HUGE guitar sound.

...and Under the Milky Way is used in a key scene from Donnie Darko - which is my all time fave movie!

muppet hi fi
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 4709
Joined: 19 Feb 2009, 1:10pm

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by muppet hi fi » 19 Dec 2017, 9:26pm

Since WestwayKid mentioned this album in his initial post, and this tour (2002) was the last time I've seen them, I'll put forward this song from that album ( "Numbers", from 'After Everything Now This', 2002).

Now, Kilbey isn't a "topical" writer per se, nor are Wilson-Piper or Koppes. And this may be the nearest thing to a concrete theme he's ever written. When I first heard this, in '02, it sent a distinct chill through me. The song, in toto, has one of the most completely realized expressions of dread of any song I can think of. Very unlikely for this band (if I'm correct on subject matter); what are youse guys takes on the song? (lyrics are correct, beneath the video).
Strong shoes is what we got and when they're hot they're hot!
- Marky Dread and his fabulous Screaming Blue Messiahs

daredevil
User avatar
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 4579
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 6:35pm
Contact:

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by daredevil » 19 Dec 2017, 9:46pm

I really like the Starfish album. When i got into some shoegaze bands, i included that album on my rotation of cds.

WestwayKid
User avatar
Graffiti Bandit Pioneer
Posts: 1234
Joined: 20 Sep 2017, 8:22am
Location: Mill-e-wah-que

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by WestwayKid » 19 Dec 2017, 10:25pm

muppet hi fi wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 9:26pm
Since WestwayKid mentioned this album in his initial post, and this tour (2002) was the last time I've seen them, I'll put forward this song from that album ( "Numbers", from 'After Everything Now This', 2002).

Now, Kilbey isn't a "topical" writer per se, nor are Wilson-Piper or Koppes. And this may be the nearest thing to a concrete theme he's ever written. When I first heard this, in '02, it sent a distinct chill through me. The song, in toto, has one of the most completely realized expressions of dread of any song I can think of. Very unlikely for this band (if I'm correct on subject matter); what are youse guys takes on the song? (lyrics are correct, beneath the video).
It’s hard not to read 9-11 references into this song. I’ve read Kilbey claiming there is no connection - but come on - I’m not buying that. Thing is - I’ve never felt like he is necessarily taking a side. To me - more of a deeper take on what drives something like 9-11...almost a cold, clinical look. It is chilling and I agree - rarely does Kilbey ever get topical...but this is maybe one example where he does.

I do know the album was recorded under difficult circumstances. Kilbey was in Sweden trying to kick his decade long addiction to heroin.

I don’t know that I appreciated the album when it first came out...but it has grown on me. It highlights their more expressive side. I also think it marked their rebirth after several difficult years and difficult albums. A statement that they were still here.
Last edited by WestwayKid on 19 Dec 2017, 10:28pm, edited 1 time in total.

WestwayKid
User avatar
Graffiti Bandit Pioneer
Posts: 1234
Joined: 20 Sep 2017, 8:22am
Location: Mill-e-wah-que

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by WestwayKid » 19 Dec 2017, 10:27pm

daredevil wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 9:46pm
I really like the Starfish album. When i got into some shoegaze bands, i included that album on my rotation of cds.
They did/do have elements of showgaze...but I think much more than that. There is an almost gothic gloom to many of their songs...a menace...a dark corner...something sinister waiting.

daredevil
User avatar
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 4579
Joined: 15 Jun 2008, 6:35pm
Contact:

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by daredevil » 19 Dec 2017, 10:33pm

WestwayKid wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 10:27pm
daredevil wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 9:46pm
I really like the Starfish album. When i got into some shoegaze bands, i included that album on my rotation of cds.
They did/do have elements of showgaze...but I think much more than that. There is an almost gothic gloom to many of their songs...a menace...a dark corner...something sinister waiting.
Yeah they were not a shoegaze band, but the music (maybe not the lyrics) fit in well with the genre.

WestwayKid
User avatar
Graffiti Bandit Pioneer
Posts: 1234
Joined: 20 Sep 2017, 8:22am
Location: Mill-e-wah-que

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by WestwayKid » 19 Dec 2017, 10:42pm

daredevil wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 10:33pm
WestwayKid wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 10:27pm
daredevil wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 9:46pm
I really like the Starfish album. When i got into some shoegaze bands, i included that album on my rotation of cds.
They did/do have elements of showgaze...but I think much more than that. There is an almost gothic gloom to many of their songs...a menace...a dark corner...something sinister waiting.
Yeah they were not a shoegaze band, but the music (maybe not the lyrics) fit in well with the genre.
Definitely. They are surely a neo-psychedelic band. I agree they fit well in the genre - even without being a true showgaze band.

muppet hi fi
Unknown Immortal
Posts: 4709
Joined: 19 Feb 2009, 1:10pm

Re: Any other fans of The Church out there?

Post by muppet hi fi » 19 Dec 2017, 10:45pm

daredevil wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 10:33pm
WestwayKid wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 10:27pm
daredevil wrote:
19 Dec 2017, 9:46pm
I really like the Starfish album. When i got into some shoegaze bands, i included that album on my rotation of cds.
They did/do have elements of showgaze...but I think much more than that. There is an almost gothic gloom to many of their songs...a menace...a dark corner...something sinister waiting.
Yeah they were not a shoegaze band, but the music (maybe not the lyrics) fit in well with the genre.
Definitely. But The Church came from an older tradition, where the guys could really play and had a couple great songwriters. Almost "classic rock", i.e. Lennon/McCartney, Jagger/Richards, Davies, Townshend, Bowie, Reed, Dylan, etc.
Strong shoes is what we got and when they're hot they're hot!
- Marky Dread and his fabulous Screaming Blue Messiahs

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: C1ashCityRockr, Marky Dread and 10 guests