With groups like The Church I take my hat off. Australians have long been primarily the expressive vehicle of bassist and singer Steve Kilbey (the only original member), bent on refining his personal vision of psychedelic and romantic rock, filled with intricate, heavenly Rickenbacker arpeggios, which almost came to an end. reach the mainstream back in the late eighties and early nineties. Since that threat they have released numerous albums that, despite line-up changes and the departure of guitarist Marty Willson-Piper a decade ago, have never ceased to have something special, despite the waning attention they have received.
“The Hypnogogue” can be interpreted as the sum total of Kilbey’s personal vision, with a more twilight edge (age does not forgive), but jewels like “’C’est La Vie”, “I Think I Knew”, the semi-acoustic “Aerodrome”, the hypnotic “Antarctica” or the song that gives the album its title, a wonderful odyssey of that romantic rock with melancholic airs that the Australians patented in wonders like “Metropolis” o “Under The Milky Way”, They are the best version we could have of them at this point. Ending with that sort of hybrid between The Beatles and Syd Barrett that is “Second Bridge” leaves the best feelings: if this were their swan song, there’s no saying but.
The fact that it’s a double album reinforces my impression, although Kilbey and company have never been one to hold back, for better and for less. That said, there’s no shortage of generation mates crawling around to play from time to time exploiting their legacy, so this majestic twenty-third album from the band originally formed in 1980 in Sydney is no nonsense.