aec.krmh41.2 11/4/08 New
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    Painkiller Karmic Hit
    1. Painkiller Karmic Hit
    2. Painkiller (Dig) Second Motion Records

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Review Text In late 2008, as rumors swirled of a reunion album by legendary 1980s psychedelic popsters the Church, the band's frontman emerged from a long layoff with his first solo album in seven years. Joined by Church drummer Tim Powles, steel guitarist Graham Lee, and William Bowden on "radiotronics," Kilbey plays guitar, bass, and keyboards (including, endearingly, a Mellotron) on this set of 11 new original songs; their style -- or styles -- won't really shock anyone familiar with his earlier work, but this is something of a departure. The bassline on "Outbound" is vintage Kilbey, but the song's general ambience is almost joyfully grim and really rather disconcerting; "Spirit in Flame" is drenched in a dark, trip-hoppy, almost dubwise vibe, while "File Under Travel" makes interesting use of found-sound loops and segues seamlessly into an interesting but not really compelling instrumental. That same approach turns the album's final track into something of an endurance test: "Not What You Say" features a very pretty jangle pop instrumental interlude that goes on virtually forever, then dissolves into a murky and radically extended coda that really does go on forever: its total length is over 30 minutes. Even with its occasionally annoying self-indulgences, though, Painkiller ultimately succeeds at both extending and enriching the psychedelic pop tropes that made the Church such a great band in its day. ~ Rick Anderson

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Outbound - 5:18
  2. 2. Wolfe - 2:29
  3. 3. Celestial - 4:17
  4. 4. Crystalline Rush - 4:58
  5. 5. Song for the Masking - 5:53
  6. 6. File Under Travel - 12:20
  7. 7. Look Homeward Angel - 3:53
  8. 8. Oenone - 4:29
  9. 9. Spirit in Flame - 4:04
  10. 10. Forever Lasts for Nothing - 3:37
  11. 11. Not What You Say - 31:10

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