Being around for 35 years is a tall order for a lot of people, let alone bands. Thankfully, just like their religious namesake, survival comes naturally to the Church. With the release of their 25th album Further/Deeper, they show that they are devoted to their cause of making outstanding psychedelic rock.
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- Further / Deeper by The Church
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The Church like to be in the ascension, and with their new record, the career victory-lap that is ‘Further / Deeper’, they’ve crafted 2015’s most unfathomably huge rock record, one that not weighs a tonne in both grams and feelings. The synths sparkle, the guitars amble towards heaven like Bono joining the Waterboys, and by the end of it, we might just have found our next Pope. Citation needed.
Considering that the Church have been going for nigh on thirty-five years, it’s impressive to see them endeavour towards four new sides of music, each seeing them dovetail between a myriad styles of songwriting: psych rock played around knotty but pantomimic riffs (see the seamless “Pride Before A Fall”), horror-flick new wave and Manics-level motivational poster rock ‘n’ roll. At times the glut almost makes them feel like a prog rock band trying to take on too much, especially when the more grandiose songs roll into faux-ballads -- shout out here to the pretty dreadful “Laurel Canyon”, which uses groaning, pedal-affected riffs and reverberating vocals towards an attempt at echoing Porcupine Tree in their pop phase.
‘Further / Deeper’ ultimately feels like a rock opera of the purest form, sequencing one emotive song after the next and piling on the instrumentation thickly. “Love Philtre” confirms the band’s infatuation with swirling, skyward-bound riffs and curls them around grandiose piano chords and crystal-clear acoustic guitars; “Let Us Go” opts for a drum fill of Phil Collins’ fever; “Volkano” sounds like Psychic TV falling into a canyon.
It’s a massively ambitious record even if it’s not always a great one, so don’t forget to follow your dreams, friends.
9/10 Tony G Customer review, 25th October 2016
OK, so I have been listening to this album for a while now, and agree with the 6/10 mark on the first few listens. However after several plays this is slowly turning into a classic. It's carefully crafted, melodic, and tingerly. For the older die hard Church fans, listen up, it'll get you in the end, for new listeners, hard to describe any band to come close to the Church in what they do, peaceful psychedelia, drift off and leave all the try hards and dross behind. This is pure quality, my only regret is that I missed their gigs earlier this year. Marty Wilson Piper may have left, Is that the best thing that's happened to them for a while. Whilst writing this I've arrived at Miami - EPIC
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