The Church

Sometime Anywhere

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The departure of Peter Koppes reduced the Church down to a core duo of Steve Kilbey and Marty Willson-Piper, though on the bright side the drum slot was finally permanently filled by Tim Powles, whose excellent playing easily matched up to Richard Ploog's best work, if not bettering it. His skill at producing and mixing, which would later prove crucial, isn't used here, but he's still off to a fine start. Best thought of as a collection of experiments and new songwriting approaches than a cohesive release like Priest = Aura, Sometime Anywhere still hits the spot more times than not, showing that the key vision of Kilbey and Willson-Piper remains strong. Kilbey's quietly compelling visions and singing remain at the heart of the group, his bass playing is as fine as ever, while Willson-Piper's guitar work contains all the fire and edge one would expect. Atmospheres, as always, are key to the Church sound, with some extremely textured and lovely keyboard sounds and buried samples adding to the mysterious flow of many of the songs. The songs that employ dance rhythms, like the murky, distorted hip-hop punch of "Lost My Touch" and Willson-Piper's charging vocal standout "Angelica," don't have the weak, johnny-come-lately feeling that bedevils rock artists dabbling around. It's not their forte, just something to work with to see what happens, and more often than not it turns out very well. Other numbers like the slow build of "My Little Problem" and the delicate then crunching, Willson-Piper-sung "Fly Home," meanwhile, shows the band still in fine overall form.

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