30 09 2013

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I have been the admin of the unofficial Church fan page (yay?!) for a few months now. So this means that everything that happens on the page means I get a notification.

On Saturday morning, a link to this page was posted and made for an interesting read. With a band like The Church, there will always be contention and disagreement about which album is best. As was unsurprisingly the overall vibe in the ensuing comments. With some saying “sometimes I feel like I must be listening to some other band all together when I read reviews like that….” and “As we say in Scotland, “Opinions are like bum-holes. Everyone’s got one”” (which I ‘liked’ and put away in the memory bank).

So simply because I can, here is my list of favourite Church albums and opinions that may differ to that of Hoyer.

Number 1: Back With Two Beasts (’05)

I bought this album on the power of the cover image alone; although I saw the red and blue re-issue before I saw the original blue and yellow. This is one of only a few albums that have a cover that does justice to the music with which it’s associated. The striking red and blue of the sky tells you the best time to listen you the album; late in the evening in the summertime. It just doesn’t have the same feel to it at any other time (trust me, I know). But for me though, the stand out songs are actually ‘Snowfaller’, ‘Pantechnicon’ and ‘Ionian Blues’.

Number 2: Untitled #23 (’09)

This album provided me with one of my first memorable moments in live music; the rendition of ‘Pangaea’. One of constant on this album though is the guitar work; it is smooth and silky on every track. But as I have mentioned previously, it also has (for me) a small incorporated story in the second half of the album. Which is why my choice of standout tracks are actually ‘On Angel Street’, ‘Sunken Sun’ and ‘Anchorage’ in that order.


Number 3: Beside Yourself (’04)

I know this wasn’t included in Hoyer’s list, but it is a collection of songs that constitute an album’s length, so I’m counting it here. From the outset, this album can be taken many different ways. It clearly states that it is mainly consistent of B-sides and outtakes from the recording sessions of the previous album (Forget Yourself), hence the name. So in that respect, you’d be forgiven for expecting something similar in sound. But the cover is an artwork by SK and is a person that appears half male-half female. Hmm… But as with BWTB, it is best sampled during the evening of a summertime. The best tracks are ‘Crash/Ride’ followed by ‘Moodertronic’.

Things I do agree with Hoyer about though include his thoughs on Magician Among The Spirits, except I’d have placed it at number 4 and given a massive mention to ‘The Further Adventures Of The Time Being‘ as the best song on the album closely followed by ‘Afterimage‘ as an fantastic closer.

About the only thing with which I agree with Hoyer is his ranking of Sometime Anywhere and his choice of ‘My Little Problem‘ as a standout song.



26 05 2013

You might remember that back in February I was asked to write some reviews of albums for The Church’s website. Which I did.

And you might also remember that last week I compiled a top ten best Church songs. Well, as it turns out, that list is wrong. And I know this because I listened to Back With Two Beasts for the first time in a while last night.

As I said in the review of BWTB, it’s the type of album that is memorable on its own, but there are no stand-out songs that you will remember in a few days time after you’ve put it away. And it is for this exact reason that the list I compiled is wrong, BECAUSE I FORGOT ‘IONIAN BLUES’!!!!!!!!!!


I don’t know how it happened, but this song never crossed my mind for even half a millisecond. But now that I know about/remember it, it instantly becomes the number 1 song, sitting high and mighty atop the list.

I did consider adding an ‘honourable mentions’ section at the end of the list but I decided against this. Now that I’m talking about it though, I may as well.

And I’ll start with the song that made way for ‘Ionian Blues’: the acoustic version of ‘Chromium’. The other mentions go out to ‘One Day’, ‘Reptile’, ‘Tranquility’, ‘LLC’, ‘As You Will’, ‘Moon Hangs In Black’, ‘So Love May Find Us’ and ‘Is This Where You Live?

Can I just say though, it was really hard to compile this list as the band has released over 300 songs and are still going. So knowing my lack of brain cells to do the remembering, there are probably other songs that I’ve forgotten to mention, but to leave ‘Ionian Blues’ out was just unacceptable in every sense of the word. Especially when you consider that (this is where I’m going to feel really, super stupid) I’ve said before, and still say that it is, BWTB is my favourite album of all time.