Über The Church
With a catalog full of atmospheric, sublime songs, the Church are that ray of warm sunlight that sneaks its way through the pea soup enshrouding a deserted beach in late autumn. Embodying the ideal synthesis of Post-Punk urgency, swirling psychedelia, and cloaked pop melodies, the quartet has been riding out peaks and valleys since the early 1980s, while never betraying their initial MO of creating dreamy, yet meticulous guitar pop. Early high points include "The Unguarded Moment" (their first hit single at home in Australia) and the epic "Is This Where You Live?" But while some point to their mid-1980s work as their finest, it's difficult to top the band's commercial steak-and-potato days of Starfish (1988) and Gold Afternoon Fix (1990). If the lilting "Under the Milky Way" didn't convince radio and MTV audiences of the band's reserved greatness, then "Metropolis" certainly did -- the song's repeated five-note guitar line and hazy, mandolin-accented outro are the most gorgeous moments of '90s alternative rock. That said, the '90s weren't so kind to the Church, as Arista dropped the band (at that point down to a duo) following the bloated opus Sometime Anywhere in 1994. Still, they re-formed into a full quartet later in the decade, ultimately releasing a number of albums, from jam sessions to moderate self-produced recordings. In 2009, nearly three decades after forming, the Church released the beautifully spacey Untitled #23, arguably one of their greatest albums to date.