As you might imagine, I've been listening to a lot of The Church's music recently. Not just because of the release of their new CD, Uninvited Like the Clouds, but also because of their involvement in the short Shriek movie.
One of my favorite Church CDs is still the little-known Pharmakoi / Distance Crunching Honchos with Echo Units by The Refo:mation (1997).
The Refo:mation is technically not a Church CD because the lineup is:
(photos found here, by Julien Klettenberg)
The Refo:mation is a word play on the name for the historical reformation in western religion, and the reunification as The Refo:mation of the two founding members of the group The Church - Steve Kilbey and Peter Koppes. The Refo:mation also includes the current drummer of The Church, Tim Powles.
The lack of Marty Wilson-Piper's guitar is offset by some killer atmospheric song structures, many of them not slow-dreamy but incisive/knife-sharp, that perfectly complement Steve Kilby's voice. Not to mention, this CD has the most killer title of all time, in my opinion. One of my favorite CDs. Absolutely kicks ass. Definitely a stealth selection worth buying. (You may have to search to find it, but I think you can order it here.)
The Back with Two Beasts online release from last year--a kind of precursor to Uninvited Like the Clouds--falls into the same stealth category (or shadow cabinet category), but has a completely different feel to it. It took me awhile to appreciate Back with Two Beasts, but the CD definitely rewards repeated listenings. For some reason only after I listened to Uninvited did Back open up for me. It's a great CD that you need patience with. Listening on headphones definitely recommended.