The Church: Further/Deeper

- When a band that has been around since before I was born releases their 25th studio album, you always, inevitably ask yourself, if this is it? Is this the album that will usher this band into the realm of the irrelevant? Well fans, exhale a sigh of relief. The Church have delivered a blissful psych rock voyage through impressive songwriting. I must admit though, this album did not grab me immediately. It’s the kind of album that will require you to take it on a few dates before moving in for that first kiss of acceptance. Within Further/Deeper you will not find anything like a hit or even any songs that make you jump around your bedroom singing into your hairbrush. Instead, you will discover a meticulously thought out artistic journey for your soul. If you are looking for a follow up to Unguarded Moment, I suggest you move along.

Pride Before A Fall -the third track on the album- is a defining moment for Further/Deeper. The song maintains a solid, steady rhythm with intertwining guitar effects, endlessly converging on each other. This was the song where I really began to notice the guitar work. A point of controversy for The Church was the departure of founding member and guitarist Marty Willson-Piper. His replacement, on this, his debut album with The Church, is Powderfinger’s Ian Haug. Previously Peter Koppes' and Marty Willson-Piper’s guitar work has been a perfect symmetry of rhythm and lead work. I noticed in particular on the track Pride Before A Fall that it is far less about a separation of rhythm and lead guitar, and has instead progressed into more of a lead on lead situation. This is, of course, nothing new for The Church, but it is an important moment in the album; it’s proof that even though Haug has some mighty big shoes to fill, he has not only managed to put them on, but has taken them for a run.

The closest that any song on this album approaches potential for mainstream airplay would have to be Laurel Canyon. Stripped back acoustic guitars throughout the verse encourages you to really absorb the lyrics and story. However, the star is that delicate guitar riff throughout the chorus. It's the kind of musical lick that you will find difficult to expunge from your memory.

Further/Deeper really is an aptly titled album. This band has been around probably since your mum was a teenager, but instead of growing stale, they continue to mature, like a fine wine, delving further and deeper into the soul of musical prowess. I suggest taking this album while you’re relaxing with a drink in hand, ensuring you spin it a few times to truly experience the full effect of Further/Deeper.

- Linda Finlay.

Album Details

Album Title: Further/Deeper
Artist: The Church
Record Label: (Unorthodox / MGM)