The Church Parallel Universe

Australian dark pop unit gives two discs here: the first, 11 remixes of songs off 2002’s After Everything Now This; the second, six previously unreleased tracks from the sessions that gave us that record. Important: listen to disc two first. Their unfailing songwriting abilities are again showcased here. Why the song "Espionage” with it’s sexy mysteriousness and the beat-driven ballad "Reward” were struck from the original set list is beyond me. Those who think that their career began and ended with the 1988 single "Under the Milky Way” should be fed a generous helping of crow after this release. Catchy, well-written and well-played, these songs will appeal to all of you Peter Murphy fans with their sombre elegance reminiscent of Mr. Murphy’s earlier solo efforts. The remixes of disc one vary between a sort of Manchester reworking in their bounciness (thing Jesus Jones) to funky trip-hop, and carry on more of the electronic feel that they went with on "AENT.” Steve Kilbey’s vocals are their usual richly delivered mix of Edward Ka-Spel and Peter Murphy. If you already own their last record and couldn’t give a toss about hearing old songs redone, buy this one anyways for the new material alone. (True North)