The Church
Starfish


4.5
superb

Review

by jmorris724 USER (12 Reviews)
May 15th, 2012 | 45 replies | 3,943 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This album is everything modern rock should be.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Australian alt-rockers The Church broke onto the scene in 1988, thanks mostly to their radio hit "Under the Milky Way", which the younger folk may recognize from the Donnie Darko movie. Yet, on an album where you had 10 great songs, and it only had 10 songs in total, was the mainstream quick to overlook a great band, and more particularly, a great album?

There really isn't much to dislike about Starfish. Its catchy enough to appeal to pop fans, yet artsy and imaginative enough to appeal to the thinking man. The lead single "Under the Milky Way" is an 80s classic which should appeal across generation lines. The same goes for the catchy but overlooked second single "Destination", which serves as the opening track. "North, South, East, and West" is another track that is very easy to get hooked into, and should provide lotsa replay like the other said tracks.

HOWEVER, perhaps the best part of the album aren't the songs you like right away, but the songs you don't. Sometimes you'll buy a new album, and find a song or two you don't like at first, but then they grow on you. In the case of Starfish, that rule may apply to the majority of the album. If you can be patient and accept that not every song is going to be as instantly appealing as 'Milky Way', then after just a few listens, you'll realize you have a masterpiece on your hands!

Of course the ultimate payoff comes in the form of the cathartic closing track "Hotel Womb". The meaning of the song is open to interpretation, but poetic lyrics abound about a man faced with a frightening world who wishes he could just be back in the womb he was born into, where it's safe.

Again, there's not much on this album to NOT like. The entire album has a rather consistent sound of alterna-pop meets space rock. There is some rather imaginative guitar work; not anything to impress the Megadeth crowd, but stuff that's just interesting. The vocals-------lead singer Steve Kilbey just nails it every time. Of course, he uses a good bit of reverb, so it's not like he's singing raw, but the point remains that he sounds excellent. Some great bass work as well. Bass is not a central part of this album, but it greatly livens up specific parts, like certain intros and bridges, much like how the parmesan cheese shaker spruces up your favorite Italian dish, point being that it definitely contributes. I definitely have nothing bad to say about the drums, as well. Everyone plays their instruments incredibly well on this album.

If you like dark 80s alt music, like Depech Mode or Echo & the Bunnymen, I can't reccomend this CD enough. If their only song you've heard is 'Milky Way', I would say check it out if you want something creative and different and fairly catchy.



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user ratings (56)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
xfearbefore
May 15th 2012



1245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuck yeah, The Church rule. Whole album is great and worth checking out. Milky Way is obviously painfully brilliant but Reptile is almost as good, the way they almost manage to make a guitar sound like a rattle-snake at parts is crazy.

Digging: Tiger Army - Tiger Army

Graveyard
May 15th 2012



5599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, Reptile is definitely the best track on this. Also, major props for reviewing The Church bro, they never really get any love on this site for some reason.

jmorris724
May 15th 2012



44 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thanks, guys.

rasputin
May 15th 2012



14519 Comments


this is a great album

Graveyard
September 12th 2012



5599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is the only church album with a review on this site

sputnik you should be ashamed

Snooze00
November 8th 2012



230 Comments


From 1980 to 1987 the church only really managed to have 1 trully great song with Im Almost With You, The rest where so bad it was laughable and if you want proof pick up there compilation HINDSIGHT 1980-1987 it is positevly god awful.
Then starfish came out in 88 yes it was really really good then every album after that was really really bad LOL.
So yeah pick up this album and maybe The Blurred Crusade as well and you pretty much got the best of what they could do.

Cygnatti
November 27th 2012



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I swear too so many bands try to make their own version of Reptile.

that guitar riff at the beginning

Digging: The Avalanches - Since I Left You

tarkus
November 27th 2012



5560 Comments


rad

KILL
March 19th 2013



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

god this is good

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Graveyard
March 19th 2013



5599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it is

the one before this one though is a little bit better from what I remember

KILL
March 19th 2013



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

will check

pissbore
March 19th 2013



9935 Comments


THEEEEEEEEEE METAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL

CHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURCH

CK
March 19th 2013



4888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This really is an awesome album

KILL
March 19th 2013



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love the guitar work so much

Cygnatti
March 20th 2013



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So many modern alt rock bands rip off Reptile's riff or something.

KILL
April 24th 2013



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

god dammit this fuckin album right here

CK
April 24th 2013



4888 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol up the rating have we KILL?

Cygnatti
April 24th 2013



21349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Did not expect that.

DrHouseSchuldiner
May 2nd 2013



5643 Comments


This is sweet ...wasnt expecting that

demigod!
May 2nd 2013



43891 Comments


gonna check i love reptile

Digging: Black Flag - My War



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