The Church

Tues Mar 23


1 SW 3rd

It's ironic that the new record by Australian legends the Church is titled Forget Yourself. Because it seems they, of all bands, cannot follow that command. Since 1980 they've put out something like 18 albums and a few box sets. "Under the Milky Way," off 1988's Starfish, is probably their most memorable song, but many fans would agree that was their last great album. Before Starfish, however, was the gorgeous The Blurred Crusade, which featured the achingly pretty pop song "When You Were Mine."

Ultimately, the Church were atmospheric and neo-psychedelic in tone, making them favorites of even cult bands like Adorable. You can hear in their influences the Velvet Underground, the Blue Aeroplanes, Pink Floyd, and the Psychedelic Furs. And for some irritating reason, they're quite popular with the goths, and the all-encompassing insistence of ownership assumed by that faction always chaps my ass. But I digress.

The new Church album is slow as molasses and so very boring. Most of the songs are interchangeable, and if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be the sentimental "I Kept Everything," or maybe "Lay Low." But if you're thinking Forget Yourself is the new soundtrack to some seductive sheet action, take the title as a warning. Maybe a 21-year-old would find it atmospheric, swirly, and sexy, but anyone who employs it at an older age is pretty desperate to get laid.

"Appalatia" [sic] is appalling, with lyrics like "Cloudy in my memory/like one long lonely candy/such a godly gift." What? The psychedelic bent gets a workout on "Nothing Seeker," which proclaims a commitment to bore the pants off one's significant other. At over seven minutes, "Summer" starts off soaring and full of ocean images, but the lyrics are punishing and dull, including some spoken word bullshit.

To be fair, the Church have lost many of their original members, including singer Steve Kilbey, guitarist Peter Koppes, and second guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper. But if you've ever been a fan, there's no choice, you'll be at this show.