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The Church, "After Everything Now This"

Some bands never give up. Last year marked the 20th anniversary fromthe very first Church release and after a number of lineup changes,solo records, big time hits and big time bombs, they haven't quit.Allthe fans agree that there's something magical about the collaborationbetween Austrlian Steve Kilby and Brit Marty Willson-Piper, and whilethe two have released their share of solo albums and side projects, theend result is greater than the sum of its parts. The band pull no newdirections on 'After Everything Now This,' sans a couple subtle drummachines creeping in here and there. The sound is clearly all their ownwith their signature tapestry of lush, melodic guitar-pop combined witha dark, almost post-goth mystique. There are some shining moments onthe album which emit that almost undescribable feeling of bleak beauty,like the epic "Night Friends," the gorgeous piano-accented "Chromium"or the creepy unsteady reverberated guitar and unpredictable melodicprogression of "Reprieve". In all honesty, however, I don't foreseethis album becoming on level with something like the monumental'Sometime Anywhere' which will always have a golden place in my heart,or die-hard fan picks like 'Remote Luxury' or 'Of Skins and Heart' butit does certainly redeem them after that embarassing album of covers,1999's 'A Box of Birds'. [mumble mumble should have been a fan clubalbum mumble mumble] The Church do remain one of the bands I alwaysmake a point of catching when they're in town, and while I could goeither way on this album — ie: it's not disappointing but notquintessential — do catch them live if you've ever liked to shoegaze orbe carried away with shimmering guitars and magical melodies. Dateshave been posted at -