Thursday, October 16, 2014

the new church cd is the singularity in captain missions universe, it's perfection. each track has it's own quality, each song has it's own way of wrapping itself into that church part of me, the frond of a fractal. it's configured in the most richest of qualities, from the absolute perfection of musicianship and lyrics, tim's brilliant beats and hits, he has a quantum rhythmic chip in his wetware, a drummer who pulls rabbits out of (high) hats. the vocal styles, and there are many as steve shifts from voice to voice, and never has it sounded so good, especially that attitude that kicks through. for me that's the voice of someone worth listening to. each harmony a labyrinth, further deeper, yeah man this is the mirror to priest = aura where the further slashes deeper and the production to the fabulous unknown qualities the church embody as spirit are homage to the limbless spirits of rock and roll. i can't review it, only offer fleeting glimpses into the songs, so let's start with some personal impressions.

vanishing man - the opening song holds nothing back, steve's vocals kick down the door, the styles shift gears, the lyrics have that hostile intensity and delivery that commands respect. it was a few minites in to this one and i knew i would adore this album unconditionally. the guitars tango away but it's the vocals that grab by by the throat and throttle you in that killer style, 'watch your back.. .pilgrim.'  
one thing about this as an opener is you know the the man from powerfinger, ian huag has added some new magick to the church, something really interesting and intelligent, and that sk has excellent intuition.

laurel canyon - reminds me of avalon beach my old haunt. same kind of energy. a love song with a twist. the church take the west coast energy and pull it through steve's incredible words. it's a church song but this church is so different from the last one. it's embedded with a quality of magnificence so strong i want to stick my nose in and snort it. simply beautiful.   

volkano - intimate communication to comrades, the spiritual coach, the captain, a leader offering his crew the chance to be let off at the next island or stay on the ship. the sun is in this song, the moon makes an entry and everything hangs in the balance. 

toy head - this has the cosmic groove, it's gnostic space rock. might be my fave song if it wasn't for all the others on this release, the vocals again, the lyric on a futon of skilled interplay between musicians who just know how to play and blend it, that lead break and soft lead syth guitar sound, that is it! 'the sound' i look for when i listen to music and it's all over this album. the ending of toy head is perfect to.
i have know idea what steve sings about but it reminded me of some hacks i did on myself, especially the bird references.   

miami - ah, the miami incident. steve's cinematic story telling fills my head with a early sixties faded colour, love story  written by beatnik mystic groovers in shades and paisley shirts, velvet jackets and glamourous girlfriends who smoke menthol cigarettes and have long lashes and legs. 
a kinda oblong screen with those washed out miami buildings and saturated palm trees blowing in the breeze. lots of close ups and some tripped out italian directing from a contemporary antonioni because there's that line that just changes everything, the herald line. there's gravity in this song, it pulls at the heart. 
lyrically it's a classic example of why i love steve as a writer. this has steve juggling sparse words but each one perfectly alludes to the narrative, as they paint raymond chandleresque, where less is more and each element of word perfect. and the harmonica at the end has that classical feel, here's the story people, here is the tale, it's the blues, the greens the grey, it's red and white and yellow, it's purple bleeding into azure rainbows. there's piano in this that sounds so magisterial. the guitars...heaven.

pride before a fall - well i guess people are familiar with it now, but it is a beautiful song and i wish i had heard the song in the context of the album first but what the hell, as a single it's perfect to. it just feels much better as part of the album, the flow on between the songs are just right, bringing such diverse energies together. again steve's singing is amazingly assured, he really knows how to deliver. this song has stars in it, billions and billions, it's best listened to at night time watching the night skies when those uninvited clouds are gone. 

love philtre - build me a temple, make it strong, add some stardust to your view. if god has wisdom and knows what to do. drop out, turn on, tune into you. 
to create beauty, to point to truth, 
to recognise the face of you know who
before you were even born, the sun was cast into the skies, the beings that walked could even fly, they had wings of light and were of pure mind. nothing weighed upon their heads, so generous their intention it bled into me, it set me free from everything.

globe spinning - the church re-manifest through the quantum distributer. yeah baby, its never tomorrow. mesmerising cleverness and here's a touch of david bowie but steve claims his own voice back from that little flirtation and there's some very tasty drums going on, guitars and piano. hail the vocal arrangements, genius! the changes in tone, the shifts of gears, the incredible big big big sound. nifty guitar like you have never heard before. this is my special band. no one even comes close anymore.

delirious - somewhat narcotic in sound, this penetrates under the aura, through the protective shields and then into the head. i dunno what it's about but yet again steve's vocals are brilliant. the guitars come crashing through, extraordinary musicianship here, subtle, textural and the harmonies are ecstatic. you can't really deconstruct this song at all but listen, listen deep.

let us go - ah bliss... steve doing his thing, brilliant vocals as the church bringing their classic brilliance to this song, it's mighty. something ancient inhabits this. the mythology of the church will rest on this song. pure and utterly, made from light.

old coast road - another unquantifiable song, sounds simple at first, a love song. on repeated listen it's probably the most radio friendly song on the album, however i have no idea what they play on radios these days. 

lightning white - the usual ultra evocative and pure brilliance. those words just jump out urgently, there's great percussion and drums, guitars meshing together and steve's bass throbbing away like a quasar engine travelling through hyperspace. again a song with gear changes, down this time, the shifts are descending into psychedelic guitars and sculptures. there's a slightly, 'sometime anywhere' feel.

okay first impressions, stream of consciousness. these are my thoughts. tomorrow they may change slightly but for now this remains the best album of music i have ever heard in 50 years of music, it's the best. yeah it's predictable i would say that being an obsessive fan but trust me, i owe no allegiance to anyone, and i speak the truth. i must thank the band, everyone involved with this cd. for a fan it's very difficult to find music these days that challenges, impresses, influences and means something worthwhile, there's not much out there and i seem to listen to the past a lot. yet here on further / deeper steve, tim, ian and peter have created something of magnitude, beauty and power, something that transcends. 
i can't help feel lyrically there feels like a meta consciousness at work, the most autobiographical of church albums inexplicably tied to the forthcoming autobiography 'something quite peculiar' coming out soon. 
i stayed up two nights and half a day playing the rolling stone stream and the excitement and richness is growing not diminishing. it's a beautiful creation and the church still retains the title, only band that matters. 

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