12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Bowie meets The Byrds with breathtaking results.,
This review is from: Heyday (Audio CD)
After four albums on which they combined sixties psychedelia, seventies glam and eighties new wave with varying degrees of success, perennial cult underdogs The Church finally hit their stride on this magnificent 1985 opus. With guitar maestros Peter Koppes and Marty Wilson-Piper at the peak of their considerable powers, the result was an album of jewelled surfaces and glittering sonic architecture - perfectly captured in the shimmering, dreamlike textures of opening track 'Myrrh'.
But this is merely the beginning of the musical magic carpet ride as 'Tristesse' and 'Already Yesterday' take the chiming six-string melodies and soaring vocal harmonies to fresh, seemingly impossible peaks of crystalline, other-worldly beauty. 'Columbus' injects tension and drama into proceedings without losing any of the hypnotic allure; 'Tantalised' is a turbo-charged assault on the senses, while the shadowy and sinister 'Roman' is built around a pulverising guitar riff that would find favour with the most avid Kerrang reader. There's even room for an instrumental track. Normally, of course, the instrumental is the last resort of a band who've run out of 'proper' songs and desperately need something to fill up the running order. Not so 'Happy Hunting Ground' which is steeped in the kind of lush, cinematic grandeur that would grace any movie soundtrack.
Meanwhile in frontman Steve Kilbey The Church have one of the few truly original wordsmiths in modern music. The exhilarating jangle-pop of 'Disenchanted' sees him examining the dark side of fame and fortune with forensic precision. 'Youth Worshipper' adds horns and a string section as he slyly mocks the obssession with staying young and beautiful at all costs. Elsewhere Kilbey's fertile imagination and consistently startling use of the English language gives rise to all manner of exotic images and surreal turns of phrase - all delivered in his uniquely deadpan style. For example on 'Myrrh' when he sings: 'We're interrupted by the telephone/You didn't think they were invented then.' Who knows what he means? And who cares? It's a fantastic line and entirely in keeping with the idiosyncratic nature of the band and their music.
Don't be put off by the awful cover - those dodgy mullet haircuts and migraine-inducing shirts are a small price to pay for something this special. Never was an album more aptly titled; 'Heyday' is the sound of a band striving for perfection and damn near achieving it.
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Initial post: 6 Jul 2012 13:28:53 BDT
Hey man, the cover is exceptional, & those shirts are just FABULOUS! The album is utter genius; the only remaining question is where can I get the shirts to match the mood.. ?
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