Seance by The Church

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Seance by The Church
Seance by The Church

Album Released: 1983

Seance ::: Artwork

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2.One Day4:36
4.It's No Reason5:54
5.Travel By Thought4:35
7.Electric Lash4:25
8.Now I Wonder Why5:40
9.Dropping Names2:57
10.It Doesn't Change5:52


One of The Church's least focused and diffuse efforts, there are enough bright clear pop moments to make this release moderately enjoyable, but too many of these tracks are atmospheric mood pieces in search of songs.

Take the album's nadir, "Travel By Thought", a blatant attempt at their own "Tomorrow Never Knows", with its clattering drumrolls and backwards guitars attending to Kilbey's chant-speak - the track goes absolutely nowhere, and isn't even successfully trippy, sounding more like a cluttered mess than anything - it's certainly the worst 'song' in the band's canon.

The guitars are still jangly, but they're increasingly diluted by synths and other keyboards (a problem that would become more apparent on the band's next release), causing The Church to sound more early-80's anonymous than they should. Nevertheless, it's a Church release, which means that the band is always consummately professional enough to rarely be truly bad (merely bland and unmemorable at their worst), "Travel By Thought" excepted.

As usual, the album's enjoyable when it's on, and when it's off, it's hard to remember specifics. Given that traditional Church flaw, the band's stab at a more psychedelic direction with this release is a mistake. Ah well, at least they know how to stew up some atmosphere ("Now I Wonder Why") when it's in the mood, getting off to a good start with the fine "Fly". And "Dropping Names", near the end is another standout track, though the album dips in quality near the middle.

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by Reviewer: Creative Noise (blogging at Creative Noise)

The cliche about this album is the 'bad' production. But really, apart from the fluffy snare drum, there's nothing wrong with it at all - it sounds like a regular 1983 guitar/rock production, and besides, it's basically The Church's strongest and most cohesive set of songs so far, so what's the problem?

The opening one-two punch of "Fly" and the heavenly "One Day" makes for a brilliantly dynamic start. The addition of light keyboards, extra hand percussion, and even a children's choir (no, seriously) gives the band's already heavily-layered sound even more depth and - for the first time - it feels like a cohesive album, instead of just a collection of new songs.

Practically everything that's great about The Church is included on this album: slower, reflective moments on "Electric" and "It's No Reason"; exquisite guitar pop with "One Day" and "Electric Lash"; and spacey psychedelia with "Travel by Thought".

Seance is where The Church became timeless - the album's a perfect encapsulation of the band's early days, and a fantastic apex to their opening trilogy of records.

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by Reviewer: Austin