Heyday Records, 2000
I only discovered via emusic.com that Church guitarist Marty Willson-Piper had been putting out solo stuff for years (this appears to be his seventh!), so I grabbed this while I was there. As expected it has a similar sound to the one or two tracks from most Church albums that feature him on lead vocals (e.g. "Spark", "Russian Autumn Heart"). His colourful variety of Rickenbacker guitar sounds and throaty voice are the basis for a set of fairly straightforward, melodic rock songs. Although it doesn't really sound like most of the Church's stuff, apart from a guitar ping here and there, it's perhaps closer to his under-appreciated work with All About Eve.
Most of the tracks have a big hooky chorus and some memorable musical touch, like a guitar chime or keyboard theme. The most distinctive is "Wreck", in which he wears a love of Pink Floyd on his sleeve during a spaced out guitar solo. They're uniformly "quite good", but there's nothing which stands out as brilliant. But to splurge out quality tunes with such a consistency is good enough for me.
October 17, 2004