The Church - Bastard Universe

Album cover

  1. Stage 1 (15:52)
  2. Stage 2 (11:31)
  3. Stage 3 (13:04)
  4. Stage 4 (12:23)
  5. Stage 5 (10:49)
  6. Stage 6 (15:39)

Cooking Vinyl, 1998

also by The Church:

see also... All About Eve

This set of studio improvisations was coupled free with a limited edition of their "Hologram of Baal" album. In these sessions they turned on the tape recorders for an hour and a half while they jammed around a loose structure. All the Church attractions are there bar the vocals and melodies. It's a broad canvas on which they lay down their textured landscapes of guitars. For a tossed-off freebie it's pretty well produced, with a crisp and extremely spacious sound. Each instrument is given a generous personal space, bound together with Tim Powles' solid drum work. But its sound is the only virtue of this record, because the material that they semi-improvised wasn't remarkably interesting. Places to go to find this kind of thing done better include Pink Floyd in their early days, or King Crimson. Even though it wasn't their stronger suit, it's interesting to see another side of this versatile and prolific band here.

February 15, 2005

5 out of 10

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written and maintained by Christopher Jackson