Friday, July 06, 2007

Video Vault

The Church, The Unguarded Moment.

The Church was (were?) always about Exhibit F of the Rock Rule, "Never trust a band whose lead singer is also the bass player." (The Police, by the way, were Exhibit A.) Still, they had their moments, with this song being an early highlight.

The video is pretty simple, being a straight lip sync performance clip with some herky-jerky early 1980s effects that now look like YouTube glitches. The best thing about the video is Steve Kilbey's amazing hair, which would set some sort of record for post-punk poofiness in the video for their biggest American hit, Under The Milky Way, just a few years later.

The song is good, but frustrating. Their immaturity as songwriters almost sinks it. It's built around a chiming, anthemic guitar part that surely had Big Country and U2 fiddling with their pedals and amps trying to copy it. The problem is, The Church wasn't (weren't?) quite sure how to fill the spaces until they could return to that part of the song. The hushed, neo-psychedelic verses are OK, but the jagged Pete Townshend-like bit about a minute and a half in just doesn't fit at all, and the guitar solo right near the end is pretty standard Rawk'n'Roll. Still, it's one of the best power pop tunes from circa 1981.

1 comment:

lyzurgyk said...

Nice. I didn't associate this song with The Church. I most likely would have guessed Psychedelic Furs. When I think of The Church, it's always Starfish first.