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The Church - Starfish CD (album) cover


The Church


Prog Related

3.41 | 46 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I didn't like a lot of music from the eighties. At that time I was almost listening to Prog Rock bands all the time. But from the mid to late eighties there were at least two FM radio stations in my city ("Rock 101" and "WFM") which started to broadcast some very good music from the eighties, with songs from bands like THE CHURCH, THE FIXX, U2, THE WATERBOYS, etc. But I have to say that while I liked all these songs (mostly in the Pop Rock style) I never was enough interested to go to find their albums in the record shops to buy them.

Recently I was given as a gift some fifty LPs by a friend who didn't want to keep them anymore in his house because he doesn't like to listen to LPs anymore but he didn't want to put them in the garbage bin. He also received the same LPs some years ago from another friend who thought the same. So, maybe now I am the third or fourth owner of all these LPs! If these friends could know that now the LPs are more in the "fad" again (that is, some record companies are since some years ago selling new LP editions with expensive prices of some old albums from a lot of bands) maybe they could want to keep some of these old LPs to at least try to sell them in used LPs shops, a thing that maybe i'm going to do, because I found in this collection of LPs some interesting albums for other people, I think. Maybe I'm going to keep a few for my own record collection, being "good" for my taste. But a lot of them are really "out of my taste", and surprisingly they are in "good state" (more or less) to be sold to those used LPs shops in my city. Why to keep them in my house if I don't like them?

One interesting LP that I found in this collection (and one of the few that I'm not going to sell!) is THE CHURCH's "Starfish" album from 1988.I previously listened to this band in those FM radio stations of my city in the late eighties. Their song called "Under the Milky Way" was played a lot by them then, and I liked the song then. But I completely forgot the song for a long time. But it was until I read the title of the song in the back cover of the LP that I remembered about it. So, I listened to the LP as a whole for the first time, twice, and I liked it. I really think that THE CHURCH for me is not a Prog band. Maybe the band has some Prog Related things in the music, but for me this band is more a Pop Rock or Alternative Rock band in musical style. I even was more surprised to realize that it was included in the Prog Archives discography database, but not having listened to their other albums yet I really don't know if some of their other albums are more Prog Related or not than this album.

Anyway, the album is good, based mostly in guitar playing, with a lot of guitars played with arpeggios and some use of pedal effects (maybe some Chorus pedal effects and reverberation). The guitarists play very good "atmospheric" guitars, also adding some good distorted guitars in some places. There are also some keyboards (played by a session musician) in some songs, also adding "atmospheric" sounds and arrangements to the music. So the music is mostly very "atmospheric". They also sing good lead and backing vocals (with bassist Steve Kilbey being the lead singer most of the time). The recording and mixing of the album are very good, and the best songs in the LP are "Under the Milky Way" (of course, also being a successful Hit Single for the band), and all the songs from the Side Two of the LP ("Spark", "Antenna", "Reptile", "A New Season" and "Hotel Womb"). It is curious that they left most of the best songs in the album for the Side Two of the LP (at least for my taste).

In conclusion: this Australian band and this album are good...not very Prog Related in musical style, but good if you want to listen to some very good "atmospheric" Pop Rock or Alternative Rock music from the eighties.

Guillermo | 3/5 |


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