Lucy
Churches Schools and Guns


4.0
excellent

Review

by TMobotron CONTRIBUTOR (25 Reviews)
February 24th, 2014 | 15 replies


Release Date: 02/17/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A journey of space exploration to a foreign planet where there's something evil lurking in the shadows.

The idea of space travel is appealing for many reasons. The ability to discover and explore the unknown is unparalleled, and the sense of adventure is maybe even stronger. But these ideas typically exist in idealized versions of space exploration and voyages into the unknown. Of course it would be exciting to be the first to land on an unexplored planet - to be exposed to a world that’s completely new. But being placed into a world filled with so much to be discovered has the potential to be dangerous. There’s sure to be a chilling power from the heavy weight of the surrounding silence, and questions that arise about what might be lurking in the shadows. And what happens when the sun sets and the fear takes over?

These are the questions that Churches Schools and Guns attempts to answer. After a dissonant intro track, "Leave Us Alone" beams in with its cold, space-traveler curiosity. Filled with eerie reverberations, futuristic buzzing, and foreign gleams of outer-space synth-lines, the track outlines in clear detail the setting that the first two-thirds of Churches Schools and Guns takes place within. "Leave Us Alone"'s lighter rhythmic shuffling places the creepy atmospherics somewhere in close orbit with Geogaddi-esque IDM. The album never releases that connection completely, but the percussion takes a turn towards meticulously paced techno, and the aesthetics morph into darker materializations of dread.

A large portion of Churches Schools and Guns' appeal comes from the exploration of its foreign landscape. There's a well-defined structure to the repetitious whallop of the drum-track's grooves, whether it comes from the earth-shaking four-on-the-floor beat that backs the creepy vocal manipulations on "Follow The Leader" or the more spacious pounding of "Laws And Habits", and the mood is relentlessly chilling. It's cold and it's dark, but there's life on this planet. The synth passages provide a very organic ambience, weaving their way in and out of the tracks’ rigid formations unpredictably - consistently evolving and expanding on their narratives and completely eliminating any potential for monotony.

Just as the album's unrelenting mood grows slightly weary with the somewhat weaker "Catch Twenty Two", the album's most important track "The Illusion Of Choice" takes off like a shuttle launch with everything on the line, and not a single aspect of Lucy's sound is scaled back in the slightest. The drum kicks are pistoning with full force, the bassline is unforgivingly assertive, and the foreign sounds that made up distant, ominous reverberations and secret murmurings have shifted themselves to the forefront, completely discarding the shroud of mystery they were cloaked under until now. It's blistering, forceful techno at its most masterful, and it never sacrifices the album's important themes for its power.

"The Illusion Of Choice" is important not only because of its raw force, but because it splits the album in two. The latter segment of Churches Schools and Guns feels like a much-needed comedown from the initially overbearing sense of fear and darkness. The soft, airy flutterings found on "We Live As We Dream" and "Falling" function like a cushiony bed to fall on top of after a long day of exertion, which isn't a very distant comparison. Churches Schools and Guns functions like a vivid journey. It's something that evokes powerful feelings, moods, and atmospheres. It can be draining at times, but sometimes that’s necessary to get the most out of a rewarding experience.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2014


7133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Can be streamed here:

http://www.xlr8r.com/news/2014/02/listen-lucys-immersive-churches-

Or if you just wanna sample it, this track gives a good idea of what a lot of the album is like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyntSaEESAA

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2014


3469 Comments


saw this got good reviews across the board but have been staying away because techno isn't usually my thing. should I check it nonetheless?

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 23rd 2014


7133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmm IDK I have a hard time telling people "no" when it's something I like but I would guess this is exactly the kind of techno you aren't really into. Here, check out some of the more IDM-ish tracks if you're interested and see how you feel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvcYhsS_mr0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LicbRd0AFeE

If you like those, especially the first one, maybe they'll help bridge the gap a bit.


Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 23rd 2014


31353 Comments


Yeah, this is good shizz

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Sleaper
February 24th 2014


3404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

checking this out as we speak. anything mobo rates, is usually great.

Digging: Vince Staples - Hell Can Wait

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2014


7133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a lot dude. If it sounded at all appealing to you from the review I definitely think you'd dig it. Plus it's streaming, so why the hell not??

I wasn't completely sure I was gonna review it, but RA gave it a weird 3/5 and that kinda pushed me over the edge.

Sleaper
February 24th 2014


3404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh, i saw that RA review and i was a bit eerie on listening to it.
most the time RA is totally wrong lol

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2014


7133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think RA is reasonably solid most of the time, but sometimes I feel like their reviews are just spewing out the info they think listeners will want to hear, and sometimes they will give an album a low rating and back it up with claims that feel either insubstantial or shallow - like a first listen knee-jerk reaction.

I have no problem with a rating I disagree with, I actually really love reading a review that is in total disagreement with my thoughts. I enjoy hearing an alternate perspective. It's just that sometimes there isn't enough substance to really understand where they're coming from. I do really enjoy their output though, and the things they give praise to I almost universally agree with. Generally, I think RA is great, but every once in awhile there's something I think is completely wrong and I can't really find any reason why that writer has taken that viewpoint. But that's kind of true of everyone.

Sleaper
February 24th 2014


3404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh, i kinda just use RA for events in my city, because without the inside scoop, my cities nightlife would be intolerable.

buuuut they are great for electronic music.
love their top dj of the year lists. boiler rooming the top 50 makes such an epic 50 hour playlist!.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2014


7133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, the stuff that makes it to the RA recommends section is always great too.

Typhoner
February 25th 2014


869 Comments


I checked out the stream when I saw the RA review. It was enough to know that I should check it out without using shitty earbuds. ;-) Should be my cup of tea, though

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2014


6487 Comments


Not too big of a fan of the style you employ in the first paragraph, but that's just a matter of personal taste.

But I will check this out. :]

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2014


7133 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the feedback - I'm kind of with you, I'm not wild about it but I was having trouble getting the ball rolling. Probably gonna avoid that in the future.

Let me know what you guys think about this!

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2014


6487 Comments


See, I like the idea of the space travel comparison. But devoting an entire paragraph just to setting the scenery seems a bit much.

Sleaper
July 14th 2014


3404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is soooo rhythmic when in the mood for it.



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