Church – Untitled 23

January 01, 1970

(Second Motion Records)


If the title seems somewhat ambiguous, suffice it to say
it’s also appropriate, albeit it in a bizarre sort of way.  Over the course of a twenty-year career, the
Church has procured a hazy cosmic sheen that tilts towards psychedelia with an
unusually amorphous set-up that seems ever so intent on leaving the listener
guessing.  Hardly surprising, then, that
one of their earliest albums was called The
Blurred Crusade


Hardly surprising either that this time around the band once
again opts for their usual blend of sprawling melodies, ethereal arrangements
and ruminating deliberations.  The eerie,
otherworldly mystique of “Pangea,” “Deadman’s Hand” and “On Angel Street” sound
as if they were beamed down from a distant galaxy, but fortunately, the
pulsating tempos and darker designs manage to maintain enough tension that keep
the songs somewhat compelling.  Still,
it’s the rare offering that find the foursome breaking out of the atmospherics
and attempting something more than a mere drift through another droning
mélange.  By far the best of these
attempts arrives in the form of “Space Savior,” a song that starts sounding
somewhat understated but promptly builds towards an insistent crescendo. 


Those willing to commit to repeated listens will likely
derive a greater degree of satisfaction, as ultimately it takes more than a
cursory hearing for the Church to attract a new believer.


Space Savior,” “On Angel Street” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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