I have been having a massive dose of listening to the back catalogue of The Church in recent weeks and months.
One of Australia's ... correction ... one of the world's greatest and most consistently excellent rock bands.
They have released more than twenty (plus dozens of solo and side project) albums.
I first came across them via a video of The Unguarded Moment on a British TV show called The Old Grey Whistle Test. It was their end of year review broadcast on new year's eve.
Luckily I recorded it (on an old style VHS video machine) so could watch it over and over.
I loved it. It was a modest hit from their first album. I bought that album, then the next, the next etc. I had six albums on vinyl plus a few EPs too. They were totally 100% my favourite band through the early 1980s. Not even REM, The Waterboys, The Pogues etc could match them in my view.
They had everything: lush acoustic ballads; full-on rock; psychedelic wall-of-sound prog; early goth soundscapes etc. And ethereal, fascinating, enigmatic lyrics delivered in a sing-speak vocal with a unique timbre.
Then along came the CD age and a period where I didn't have much money to spend on buying music.
So I lost touch with them. I wish I hadn't as the next album after the last I bought is one of their best, their magnum opus: Priest=Aura.
I have spent a few weeks now revisiting those long-loved classics. And listening to some of the newer albums too. I've just bought a live recording (A Psychedelic Symphony) of the band from 2011 at Sydney Opera House marking their 30th anniversary (backed by a 72 piece orchestra). It is fantastic. It would be a good place to start if you have never listened to them.
For years, a keynote feature was the guitar interplay between Peter Koppes and Marty Wilson Piper.
Marty is not playing with them just now. They have a recently released an album (Further Deeper) with Ian Haug (formerly of Aussie rock band Powderfinger). It is also great.
Basically they are a great band that for decades (apart from a brief period when Under The Milky Way hit big in the 80s) have been shockingly overlooked and ignored.
You will like The Church if:
you like layered, textured music with melodic hooks
you like acoustic ballads
you like psychedlic rock
you like dual guitars intertwining and overlapping
you like lyrics that hold hidden depths
you like soundscapes to relax to
you like great music with intensity and dynamic range
Just go listen will ya!
This page on their website lists all the releases with links to videos, lyrics etc.http://home.earthlink.net/~thechurch/albums/index.html
There are lots so I'll just pick a few ...
The Blurred Crusade 1982
Further / Deeper 2014 (their most recent)