Till Death Do Us Party - Levitating Churches (self released)
The catchcry “No Squares Or Hippies” re-appears on the LP’s sleeve and it’s as apt as the “Play Loud” instruction on the back cover. Levitating Churches deal in a jagged, jarring blend of psych blues and hard rock on their second, vinyl only long player. Lovers of the flute or banjo need to seek their kicks elsewhere.
A little less psych and more straight-ahead than its predecessor “Levitating Churches”, “Till Death..” shows a band whose feet remain planted firmly in the garage scene of the late ‘60s. If these guys dig Roky more than Iggy and that’s a truism rather than a criticism.
Opener “The Full Moon Blues” reeks of Dead Moon crossed with the MC5 (shades of “Looking At You” and Sonic Smith) but the Churches sound equally at ease on the Hawkwind space rock of the title-track or the muscular guitar and organ blues of “Get Numb.”
If there’s a radio-friendly cut for more enlightened ears it’s “Walking Dead”, where Matt Johnstone’s edgy but soulful vocal is wrapped in a hook-line and propelled by David Rice’s swinging drum feel. The lighter ’60s touch of “Something To Consider” might make the playlists too.
The pick of the LP is “Hung Out To Dry” where Thunderesque licks lace the Alice Cooper (circa “Love It To Death”) attack. “Roll Out The Red Carpet” sits in the same place, church bells mixing it with a pliable yet industrial-strength bottom-end and fat guitars.
The five minutes-plus opus “You Either Get Stuck Of Your Wheels Fall Off” gives Johnstone ample room to show off his enviable guitar chops.