From The Vault: The Church – “Priest = Aura” (1992)
You won’t find the hit single on this release, as none was designed and they made a concerted effort to promote this album as a conceptual release. For longtime fans like myself this construct was more then welcomed, though for fans who were hearing the music of The Church for the first time, or based solely on the release of Starfish,[i] an album filled with singles, I’m more than sure that people were scratching their heads, wondering what this band was all about, and how this rather sketchy release could have followed [i]Starfish. Again, all of this was just fine for me, after all, I know that I’m a musical snob about some things, and The Church were very high on my list.
The album floated in much darker waters (as if that were possible), the guitars and lyrics seriously curved my thinking with atmospheric gatherings that hugged the floor, swirling at my feet rising like an evening mist, while hanging in the air like low sonic clouds just above my head, leaving me only the most narrow perspective of my own reality from which to assure myself that I was still physically rooted in this planet, where without that window I’m sure I would be lost forever in a type of continuous tape loop.
Regardless, The Church found themselves in the middle of an untraditional step forward, one that embraced the psychedelics they had been consuming, and when they came out the other side with the stunning Somewhere Anywhere, they didn’t hesitate stumble or faulted, where they managed to touch the sky, turn water into wine, and bless the world with one of the most integral hypnotic lysergic vision ever put to vinyl. All of that being said, I’d be remiss if I in any way suggested that Priest = Aura was merely a stepping stone, because some fine material dose tumble out, meaning that there’s no way I’d ever miss the chance of having this music in my collection, or roaming eternally through my head.