Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tear it all away 1

by fandorin

I first found Tear It All Away on my copy of Of Skins And Heart aka The Church. I never really got it but it was released after Of Skins And Heart as a double single; for the US release, Fighter Pilot was kicked from the album and replaced by Tear It All Away.

What to say. It has got written "new direction" all over it. Gone is the chugging - for good (whenever they returned to power chords later, they made sure to add exotic flavour and eccentricity). Gone is Nigel's awkward drumming that always needed a lot of studio trickery to sound acceptable. Good. Gone - maybe unfortunately - is the youthful crashing power and the roguish fun that dominated the debut album. The Church is a band that never really matured. They made a debut album and when they released their follow-up, they were completely grown-up. At least on records. Make sure to listen to early bootlegs - a hard rocking band driven by the punk drums of Richard Ploog.

I guess the "chug chug" which is a convention, a cliché but also a way to make sure everyone understands they're playing rock music had been deleted because from now on, they had a functioning rhythm section and could afford to decouple guitars and rhythm track, resulting in more freedom for Peter and Marty, which would result in the highly unconventional interplay evolving from 1982 on. It's exactly where Blurred Crusade begins, and, in some ways, it's better than anything on Blurred Crusade as it's perfectly weighed between power, romanticism, melancholy and serene happiness. Check out Peter Koppes' multitracked guitar solo owing a lot to Mick Ronson and the always sublime effect of stopping the drums just to leave a heavenly jangle in the air. A good example of their carefully constructed intro sections (The Church are MASTERS of the intro section), In opposite to lot of the namby pamby bloodless bland 80es jangle popsters, Tear It All Away has a throbbing heart and depth and slight despair. This is as far from college rock as Sepultura.

No comments: