Lush atmospherics and instrumentals that reach for heaven...
Having released their first album, 'Of Skins And Hearts' back in 1981, 'Uninvited Like The Clouds' is the most recent release from a band who have continued to provide a steady stream of albums for the last twenty-five years. While the 1988 album 'Starfish' has been their most commercially and, some might argue, artistically successful release (containing their only top forty and international hit, 'Under The Milky Way') 'Uninvited Like The Clouds' suggests that the Australian art-rockers are still going strong, and that the mysterious 'labyrinth of sound and imagination' that is The Church is far from being solved.
'Block' opens the album with slow, dark, almost spoken vocals, building up an intoxicating, atmospheric sound, and as an electric guitar wails gently you become faintly aware of cosmic twinkling while Steve Kilbey's enchanting vocals fade into the distance to reveal more explicitly the progressive, art-rock element of The Church, as the song dissolves into a swirling, smouldering instrumental.
Tracks like 'Unified Field' and 'Easy' lift the pace a little, with its pretty intro and swirling hook 'Unified Field' still relies heavily on the lighter-than-air elegance and soaring vocal harmonies that characterize the band, as does the sound-scape of lush, far-away guitars and keys of 'Overview'. However, the delicate beauty of 'Day' makes it the album's standout track; with its reassuring refrain and radiant, yet fragile sounding picked guitar the song glows before burning out with an abrupt ending.
Overall, listening to 'Uninvited Like The Clouds' you experience a paradox of sensations; one moment, a track like 'Pure Chance', with their slow movement can make you feel as if you are floating through space amidst incongruous cosmic twinkles and tweaks, while a song like 'Never Before', despite its soaring instrumental, has the effect of enveloping you completely, as if you're drowning in The Church's deep atmospherics.
Despite the lush atmospheric sound and harmonies that soar to heaven, those who like their rock a little more explosive could easily be disappointed, yet whatever your faith, if you're a fan of art or progressive rock then the warm, laid back sound-scape of The Church could be just what you're looking for. Existing fans of The Church will surely be in their element.