Fittingly enough, the lush music of the Australian band, The Church would sound great booming around in the airy upper reaches of a large cathedral. Unfortunately, the logic behind the band’s weightier lyrics doesn’t bear close inspection. For instance, the opening cut of Priest=Aura, the Church’s eighth record, evokes a postnuclear landscape in which humankind discovers that ”love equals hate and death equals fate/An enemy always equals an adorer/The priest equals aura.” Still, the Church can make some ofthe most beautiful noise in rock. There is a clarity and power to singer-lyricist Steven Kilbey’s deep voice that undercuts the poor impression made by his pretentious song subjects: His evocative use of language, combined with the thick swirl of coguitarists Marty Willson-Piper and Peter Koppes, creates a satisfying sound that could easily suspend any listener’s initial disbelief. The Church is a constant reminder of what magnificent aural sculptures a mere four-piece rock band can shape out of nothing more than electricity and atmosphere. A-

  • Music