|The Church||man woman life death infinity||Unorthodox Recordings||October 6, 2017|
The Church — man woman life death infinity (Oct. 6, 2017) ↑↑↑ Australian quartet that combined jangling guitar pop with opaque wordplay to create a lush, melancholy brand of neo~psych rich in texture and melody.
↑↑↑ Singer, lyricist and bassist Steve Kilbey explains this 26th full length offering is the church’s ‘water record’. “I guess water is my element. I’ve always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain. It wasn’t conscious at all but on reflection, it definitely is a preoccupation on this record. What that means, I don’t know,” he says. “This is an album we’re really looking forward to exploring live,” he says. “The way I write lyrics is very stream~of~consciousness. I never question them until we perform live, so I discover them in time as much as the audience.” Formed: 1980 in Sydney, Australia
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Ambient Pop, Neo~Psychedelia
Album release: October 6, 2017
Recording Location: Airlock Studios, Rancom Studios, Space Junk Studio
Record Label: Unorthodox Recordings
01. Another Century 4:42
02. Submarine 4:54
03. For King Knife 4:29
04. Undersea 3:21
05. Before the Deluge 5:12
06. I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know 3:47
07. A Face In A Film 4:12
08. In Your Fog 3:59
09. Something Out There Is Wrong 4:48
10. Dark Waltz 4:33
℗ 2017 The Church
↑↑↑ Album from veteran Australian alt~rock band. Another Century, another dream, another album from a band that’s in too deep to go anywhere but ever closer to the other side. Man Woman Life Death Infinity is the 26th album by The Church, and their second with the rejuvenated line~up Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes, Tim Powles and Ian Haug. The epic return of 2014’s critically lauded Further/ Deeper blossomed into a road~hardened beast over four tours of the USA, two back home in Australia, and a new career high in front of 20,000 Spanish fans on a lap of Europe. Man Woman Life Death Infinity is where the revitalized quartet’s freshly tuned chemistry reaches a new potency and precision: ten songs, 45 minutes, and a quantum leap into unexplored territory as strange as it is irresistible. “This is The Church’s water record,” says Kilbey, singer, lyricist and bassist. “I guess water is my element. I’ve always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain. It wasn’t conscious at all but on reflection, it definitely is a preoccupation on this record. What that means, I don’t know.”
↑↑↑ Don Bartley Mastering
↑↑↑ The Church Composer, Producer
↑↑↑ Ian Haug Group Member, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Keyboards
↑↑↑ Ted Howard Engineer, Mixing, Producer
↑↑↑ Kevin Lane Keller Executive Producer
↑↑↑ Konstantin Kersting Engineer
↑↑↑ Steven Kilbey Fender Jazz Bass, Group Member, Guitar (Bass), Vocals
↑↑↑ Peter Koppes Group Member, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Keyboards
↑↑↑ Amanda Kramer Keyboards, Vocals (Background)
↑↑↑ Eden Mulholland Artwork
↑↑↑ Timebandit Powles Drums, Engineer, Gr. M., Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals (Bckgrnd)
↑↑↑ The Church ‘Man Woman Life Death Infinity’ Review: Australian alternative icons offer submerged, hypnotic soundscapes on new album. Score: ★★★★★
↑↑↑ I guess water is my element. I’ve always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain. It wasn’t conscious at all but on reflection, it definitely is a preoccupation on this record. What that means, I don’t know.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar; Score: ****
↑↑↑ After the release of 2014’s Further/Deeper, Australia’s the Church spent much of the next three years touring, splitting their live set between new songs and revisiting tracks off their 1982 sophomore effort The Blurred Crusade. It was also a period that introduced fans to new member, former Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug, who stepped in after the departure of Marty Wilson~Piper in 2013. It was in this spirit of balancing the old and the new, the past and the future, that they recorded their expansive 25th studio date, 2017’s astral~tinged Man Woman Life Death Infinity. Produced by Ted Howard, who has worked with the band throughout much of the 2000s, the album finds lead singer/songwriter Steve Kilbey, co~founding~guitarist Peter Koppes, Haug, and longtime~drummer Tim Powles continuing to match their love of arid, atmospheric space rock with a hooky pop sensibility. As with past efforts, much of this sensibility rests on the shoulders of Kilbey, who remains a quietly prolific entity. Notably, this album comes on the heels of his equally interstellar 2017 collaboration with All India Radio’s Martin Kennedy Glow and Fade. Like that album, Man Woman Life Death Infinity starts cinematically with an icy, shimmering synth off~set by a coiled, echoey twang, like a guitar floating at the edge of the solar system. From there, “Another Century” kicks into a steady pulse as Kilbey intones in his best deadpan David Bowie croon, “I gotta light a candle for you/So you can see yourself/In the dark.” Having emerged from his own dark period of addiction in the early 2000s, Kilbey remains a master of shadowy, hallucinogenic tropes and evocative lyricism. It’s a sound that informs other tracks here like the towering majesty of “For King Knife,” with its ringing, Phil Spector~ish Wall of Sound, and the moody Byrdsian “I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why,” with its dueling arpeggiated and heavily effected guitar leads. Elsewhere, they dive into the Eastern~tinged, Pink Floyd~esque “Undersea,” draw upon their early~‘80s new wave roots on “A Face in Film,” and embrace psych rock on the menacing anthem “In Your Fog.” The amazing thing about Man Woman Life Death Infinity, as with much of the Church’s post~2000s work, is that it sounds utterly fresh, even as it’s in keeping with their early albums. Rather than backing away from the gothy, new wave psychedelia of their youth, just as they revisited The Blurred Crusade, here they’ve embraced that aesthetic and imbued it with the emotional maturity and poetic gravitas that comes with their decades~long space rock journey.
by Doug Collette, October 6, 2017 / Score: 7
↑↑↑ THE CHURCH REAFFIRMS FAITH OF LONG TIME FANS WITH ‘MAN WOMAN LIFE DEATH INFINITY’ (ALBUM REVIEW)
↑↑↑ The portentous tone of the title of the Church’s Man Woman Life Death Infinity is more than a little fitting and not just because it is the Australian band’s twenty-sixth studio album. With Ian Haug now in tow since 2013 to wield guitars in place of departed founding member Marty Wilson~Piper, the group soldiers on, maintaining their recognizable, if not wholly original style, of writing, playing and recording.
↑↑↑ It’s the same uninterrupted prolific creative impetus the Church retained when Tim Powles joined the group just over twenty~years ago, fulfilling multiple roles as drummer and producer. The cohesion of the current lineup is as firm as the sound is deep, right from the spacey intro of “Another Century” into the swirl of voices layered in between acoustic and electric guitars.
↑↑↑ The beauty of the multiple textures lies in how they can so amply fill a room or headphones with equal depth. As on “Submarine,” Powles’ drum work is the heartbeat of the band, his embellishments accentuating the massive pulse he supplies (not unlike the way Nick Mason works within Pink Floyd). Yet the man who took original drummer Richard Ploog’s place in the Church propels the band forward through the cryptically~titled “For King Knife,”
↑↑↑ As his flourishes interweave with those from the instruments of Haug and Peter Koppes, something of an Alice in Wonderland ambiance continues to permeate the album via “Before the Deluge.” But guitars and voices, especially bassist Steve Kilbey’s, become increasingly prominent with each successive cut here, so that “I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why” sounds less like a random musing than concerted introspection. The feedback that sears from one side of the stereo spectrum to the other only drives that notion home.
↑↑↑ So, as with the best work of the Church, such as the twenty~five~year~old Priest=Aura, the all~enveloping rapture the foursome conjures up always remains grounded in some semblance of realism; in 2017, where else would something so ominous as “Something Out There Is Wrong” come from? Still, much of the force of gravity within Man Woman Life Death Infinity arises from the comparative brevity of the ten tracks: the band’s playing is consistently tight in the roughly three and a half to four and a half minute duration of each.
↑↑↑ Then there’s the sequencing of the cuts, so astute that, just when the album calls for a novel sound to ward off monotony, there’s the clear ring of piano notes throughout “A Face in a Film.” And while this current work of the Church doesn’t exactly end with finality, that’s in keeping with the open~ended progression of this band over the course of its history. The conclusion of “Dark Waltz” leaves a listener with a palpable sense of suspense, the ideal means to reaffirm the faith of long~time fans while enticing new followers, both groups of which may end up equally eager for the follow~up to Man Woman Life Death Infinity. ↑↑↑ https://glidemagazine.com/
↑↑↑ Another Century, another dream, another album from a band that’s in too deep to go anywhere but ever closer to the other side. Man Woman Life Death Infinity is the 26th album by the Church and will be released on October 6th.
↑↑↑ The album is their second with the rejuvenated line~up Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes, Tim Powles and Ian Haug.
↑↑↑ The epic return of 2014’s critically lauded Further/ Deeper blossomed into a road~hardened beast over four tours of the USA, two back home in Australia, and a new career high in front of 20,000 Spanish fans on a lap of Europe.
↑↑↑ Man Woman Life Death Infinity is where the revitalized quartet’s freshly tuned chemistry reaches a new potency and precision: ten songs, 45 minutes, and a quantum leap into unexplored territory as strange as it is irresistible.
↑↑↑ “Music is like inner space and we’re astronauts,” says guitarist Koppes, who co~founded the Church in Sydney in 1980. “It’s a spellbinding thing. It’s hypnotizing. That’s why people like it. It takes them into another world and we’re here to open those doors.”
↑↑↑ “This is the Church’s water record,” says Kilbey, singer, lyricist and bassist. “I guess water is my element. I’ve always marveled at the sea and rivers and rain. It wasn’t conscious at all but on reflection, it definitely is a preoccupation on this record. What that means, I don’t know.”
↑↑↑ The band will release the deeply chiming second single ‘Undersea’ beginning tomorrow morning. The track is the ominously descending result of Kilbey’s suggestion that the band should pretend to be another one altogether, like Sgt. Pepper wilfully choosing the brown acid.
↑↑↑ “Tim borrowed my son’s little electronic drum kit,” Haug reveals, “so we had a mutated kit, half acoustic/ half electric, and we were just firing off each other.”
↑↑↑ “Peter is like the mad professor of guitar theory. I’ve learned a lot from him over the last few years but I’m not trying to analyze the harmonic integrity of anything. If it sounds good, I’ll keep going down that path. I think we complement each other really well in that way.”
↑↑↑ Fans who pre~order the album will receive both “Undersea” and “Another Century” as instant grat tracks.
↑↑↑ The Church begin an extensive 29~date North American tour in support of Man Woman Life Death Infinity beginning this Friday on September 8th in Portland, OR. Special guests The Helio Sequence will be direct support on all dates.
|The Church||man woman life death infinity||Unorthodox Recordings||October 6, 2017|