Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bel-Air 2

by fandorin

Just a small second perspective on Bel-Air.

Yes, with the first 4 songs, The Church established themselves as wavy power pop heroes. Accelerate, hehe. I guess I have to defend Bel-Air from the "twee" label. Apart from being (IMHO) a pretty masterpiece, it was again showcase for a band having already mastered a lot of rock tradition. They knew how to kick ass, how to sling guitars and how to be cool and fiery all at once. SK had already assimiled the whole rock tradition minus blues minus folk up til 1980 and sat on the head of a spear flying somewhere.

First song featuring the "Byrdsian" jangle, arpeggi replacing the chop chop dang dang, but maybe the crucial problem solved in Bel-Air was - how to write a structurally highly unconventional song (extensive solo stuck to the beginning, no chorus, different sections, a climax almost taken from classical have heard that somewhere, wasn't it called Prog Rock? and isn't it great how the condense an essence of prog in 5 minutes? Prog for people with clear minds and little time? And go, and find Levitation's CD Need For Not!) and making it sound smooth and beautiful. It features a great trick of instrumentation, showing PK's musical leadership in the band - the first jangle is played by PK on a six string while Marty does chop chop chop, then MWP takes over, and it's a wonderful effect when the 12 string takes over...

Tell me what you want, the line "her ruby lips can't excite me anymore" together with the musical reversal point in that verse, is to me the first truly Great Moment in The Church's catalogue. How the "twee" song explodes into something greater, monumental. The band is arse-tight and oozes energy, the timing is fantastic. It still doesnt sound "confidential", but hey, how to sound confidential when you are about to leave the moon carrier?

The worst thing about it is MWP chewing that fucking chewing gum during the video performance. Oh, hey wait, John Lennon did that on All You Need Is Love, too, so I guess it's a righteous homage. Chew on, Piper!

No comments: