Monday, June 25, 2012

Stream/Download: CHURCHES - C H U R C H E S

The Bay Area's CHURCHES have just released their debut EP for free on bandcamp and it is really hard to take it off repeat. The 90’s rock revivalists provide six tracks that play out like a tribute to the best of the grunge era. It's impossible not to hear Nirvana in the guitar-driven tracks like "Feel Alright". Singer Caleb Nichols, former bassist of Port O'Brien, has a great sense of melody and seems to be expelling some residual teenage angst that was still lingering around a la The Smashing Pumpkins. Drummer Pat Spurgeon does an excellent job of creating thumping rhythms that push the weight of these anthemic tracks right to your cerebral cortex. You may know Spurgeon as the drummer for the indie pop band Rogue Wave. He was also the subject of the film D Tour, which dealt with his struggles with kidney failure just as Rogue Wave started to take off. He shines bright on "Katie", a track that shows how well the trio - rounded by bassist Dominic East - meld together humming guitars and crashing rhythms. It also presents the most lyrically intriguing ideas with lines like "God is just a drink with which you wet your whistle / Jesus was a thief; he stole your poison apple". "Save Me" steps out of the grunge shadow with a catchy dream-pop melody and shows they aren't a one trick pony. Much credit is due to current WATERS and former Port O’Brien frontman Van Pierszalowskione, who did an excellent job of drawing out the best aspects of this band.

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