The Church Untitled #23 Genres:Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock Australia s legendary band, The Church returns with what is arguably the most creative and inspiring record of their almost 30 year career. Second Motion Records in conjunction with the band s very own Unorthodox Records w... more »ill release the new album ''Untitled #23'' on May 12th with a full-on North American tour in June/July. The album will feature 10 tracks of thoughtful simplistic epics, unusual in its ability to be simultaneously dark and accessible. An irresistibly melodic album, dense, psychedelic, yet emotive and personal. Set in a lush soundscape carved out of another world, the band has succeeded in creating a listenable work of art, meshing guitars and rhythms into a sonic journey of intrigue and understanding.« less
Australia s legendary band, The Church returns with what is arguably the most creative and inspiring record of their almost 30 year career. Second Motion Records in conjunction with the band s very own Unorthodox Records will release the new album ''Untitled #23'' on May 12th with a full-on North American tour in June/July. The album will feature 10 tracks of thoughtful simplistic epics, unusual in its ability to be simultaneously dark and accessible. An irresistibly melodic album, dense, psychedelic, yet emotive and personal. Set in a lush soundscape carved out of another world, the band has succeeded in creating a listenable work of art, meshing guitars and rhythms into a sonic journey of intrigue and understanding.
More Musical Luminosity From " The Church"
Brien Comerford | Glenview, Illinois United States | 05/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Church's "Untitled # 23" is literally another musical masterpiece CD released by this criminally overlooked and prolific Australian supergroup. They have at minimum seven CDS that are on a qualitative par with Radiohead's finest recordings. This is a band that masterfully fuses progressive, psychedelic and otherworldy musical genres. Vocalist Steven Kilbey's resonant, dreamy and emotive vocals are propelled by his esoteric and evocative lyrics. Two dynamically talented guitarists and a multitalented drummer are integral to the Church's elaborate wall of sound that is gloriously augmented by soothing, surreal and haunting atmospheric soundscapes. The Church's music audibly delivers salves and balms to the mind. Untitled # 23 is an exquisite and mesmerizing CD that improves and evolves with each listen as "The Church's" metaphysical magic gradually resonates into your psyche and soul with splendor. The album commences with the sterling "Cobalt Blue", an intoxicating gem reminiscent of vintage Pink Floyd. It's followed by the fabulous "Deadman's Hand", a riveting and alluring tune galvanized by Kilbey's whispering and poignant vocals being a veritable instrument.
Untitled # 23's two most immediately infectious songs are "Pangaea" and "Happenstance." If the music industry had justice and equality "Pangaea" and "Happenstance" would be universally heralded as two great singles for progressive rock radio stations. Still another highlight of this intoxicating CD is the luminous and thought provoking "Sunken Sun". The momentous and tremendous closing song "Operetta" is one of the most beautiful, reflective and yearning songs ever recorded by any band.
In short "Untitled # 23" is a must purchase for all music fans. Other spectacular Church CD's that are imperative to own include "Forget Yourself." "After Everything Now This," "Hologram of Baal", "Uninvited Like The Clouds'" "Starfish" and "Priest=Aura". The Church are a uniquely amazing and incomparable band and there will never be another band like them."
Just more of the same old brilliance?
Mr. Honesty | 05/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Newsflash: The Church are brilliant. Why it has taken anybody 23 releases to finally notice that is beyond me. Most Church fans have been riding this 'recent' crest of creativity somewhat incognito since Hologram of Baal hit the scene. Ironically it took an 'Untitled' release to finally get some notice, and the notice is truly well-deserved.
As other reviewers have correctly pointed out, songs like Pangaea, with its gorgeous vocal intertwinings, Dead Man's Hand with it's driving rhythm and perfectly appropriate 'can barely open his mouth' vocals, the epic Happenstance, filled with moments of calm turned to gripping edge and emotion, and of course the closer Operetta with it's safe and lush harmonies, like coming home, are instantly distinguishable as the embodiment of all that the Church have evolved to. They bring forth all the aspects that are best about the Church, the guitars, the vocal effects, the seemingly insignificance of certain words in songs ("Such a charmer") yet play over and over with such fondness in your mind when not listening.
But I think what is getting more notice, and rightfully so, are some of the risks played out in this release. Take a song like On Angel Street. Whose brilliant idea was it to use use what sounds like a car alarm as the primary rhythm piece? It sounds crazy to desrcibe it, but when you hear it, you will see how amazing it works. With Knopfleresque (circa Planet of New Orleans) guitar sound in combination with that 'car alarm' rhythm, it gives a sense of urgency and seediness to the song, and the lyrics are just plain heartbreaking. IMHO Kilbey has always been at his best when writing about the things he knows about, and this just proves it.
Every song is unique, distinct, and again the risks taken on this release come through in the instrumentation as well as the lyrics. Just lisen to the woodwind sound of Lunar and its beautiful closing instrumental. Who else but the Church would have added that? Listen to the dichotomous lyric of Ankorage? The vocal resurection of Lou Reed on Space Savior. Every song takes a new and interesting turn.
Anyone who knows the Church knows they have the chops to make 'the greatest' album, but I'm not sure everyone knew they would take the risks to do it. I think they went out on a limb on this release, and I don't think they landed on their feet at all, I think they SOARED. On Untitled #23 the brilliance just shines.
MAKE SURE you also pick up the Pangaea E.P. with the incredible "So Love May Find Us", a song worth the price alone."
My untitled review, for Untitled #23
Daniel L. Charleston | Escondido, CA United States | 05/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of the Church are all too familiar with the response "who?" when talking about this amazing band. Together for 29 years now, this is their 23 studio album (not counting compilations!); they have never compromised their talent or vision of music for commercialism, finding their success in the creation of true art. Here they deliver one of the most fantastic and potentially "commercial" albums of any band this year.
Untitled #23 is exactly like one of those paintings you would find in a quaint little gallery off the beaten path in a city like Paris. The artist at a loss to define the work with a title has left the interpretation to the viewer. Here the Church has left the interpretation to the listener, and what an amazing journey it is! Almost indefinable, refusing to be categorized, this album is a brilliant example of what music can be, when true artists create it under their own terms.
Key tracks are Pangaea, Happenstance, Anchorage (available FREE from here...click on the link above; enjoy, then buy the entire album!), and finally closing the album the beautiful and haunting Operetta. The album is one of the bands best, and sadly if this was Untitled #1 one could argue that it was be quite the buzz in the music press. But will we even see a review here in the good old USA, prior to the bands arrival on our shores? (Shameless plug inserted here for their US tour starting June 10the here in Sunny San Diego, then across the US, and into Canada, go to www.thechurchband.com for details...sorry couldn't help it.)
At what would be the end of the road for many bands after this long of time, the Church is still as fresh, unique, and groundbreaking as ever. Untitled #23 is really the opportunity for new listener to discover one of the most unnoticed, yet truly talented bands in the world, while long time fans will find reason to rejoice and pray that there will still be many, many more works coming down the path. "
They just keep getting better
T. Lewis | FL | 05/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Church are perhaps one of the most unique bands in all of "rock". To begin with, the combination of their mystical lyrics and Steve Kilbey's silk smooth and rich voice create a sound that is only getting better with age, instead of strained and forced as with most other bands with members in their 50's. Next, if you were to gauge a band's longevity by sales and concert tours, they should not even exist anymore. Yet here they are, 29 years and 23 (give or take) records after their first release still putting out music.
Untitled #23 is a masterpiece. It is without a doubt one of their best and most consistent records in their entire canon. I have been following this band for 17 years now and have never seen such a positively reviewed cd by critics and fans alike.
I think the reason for this praise is the overall consistency of the record and its tightness. There are only 10 tracks and the length is 50 minutes, short by Church standards. There is also such a flow to the tracks and a wide range of textures/emotions: Fierce (Deadman's Hand), Sad (On Angel Street), Menace (Anchorage), Beauty (Sunken Sun), Love (Operetta), and of course Mysterious (Happenstance).
If you are an old Church fan looking to check out an old friend or a new fan, looking into new music that will move you, not bore you, do yourself a favor and buy this now. You will not regret it.
Untitled review #1
Jonathan Shinault | USA | 05/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While the (not so)fresh faces and sounds of today's dying music industry continue their march off into irrelevance there is a band that continues to write, perform and record masterful pieces of art without the pre-tense that "art-prog-rock" can frequently be wrapped in. At the age of 40 I can think of few bands that continued to produce quality in what was, is or could be considered their twilight as the Church has in the last ten years. It certainly seemed bleak back in the Sometime, Anywhere days but here we are some 16-17 years later listening to an absolute masterpiece that is more than worthy of your time in fact it politely demands it.
To the initiated this collection of new songs will somehow be a more exciting trip given the subtle departures or risks the band has taken while those unfamiliar to The Church can take the opportunity to hear what "drone rock" set out to be back in the mid to late 1960's and 1970's. "Ok, just a little pin prick..." Remember what that made you feel back in the day? Kilbey and Co. can offer you that feeling again in 2009.
Though it is easy to completely submerged yourself into this entire record I do want to single out one song inparticular, Anchorage. It's hard to describe but I can't get it out of my head. An absolutely amazing recording, poem, lyricscape whatever you'd like to call it.
Hopefully a few folks will stumble upon Untitled #23 and maybe rock music can live another day but then again Green Day has hit the shelves and it's always tough to pass up whiney pseudo-punks with eye-liner and a Bush fetish. "