The Churchills are a pop band from New
York that relies heavily on infect ious melodies and shimmering
harmonies. Echoes of Crowded House, Jellyfi sh and a touch
of Material Issue taint the style of their music without o
verpowering it. These songs are definitely creations of their
own and ar e not merely copies. There is a familiarity that
bolsters the impact of their smart pop music, keeping it accessible
to folks without being so bl atantly pop that you wanna puke.
Opening up with the single "Beautiful,"
The Churchills put it out there i n black and white for us.
There's a strong melody and copious amounts of winding harmony.
Ron Haney has a full pop voice and a tempered guitar p laying
style: comparisons to the Finn brothers or Jason Falkner wouldn't
be out of line. Guitarist Kim Henry and bassist Bart Schoudel
fill out t he harmonies perfectly while not overloading the
song with too much backi ng. Kim takes the lead vocal on "Headstrong,"
demonstrating her abilitie s. She also has the perfect pop
voice recalling everybody from Debbie Ha rry to Pat Benetar.
The music is a bit beefier here, allowing their guit ar abilities
to be displayed. "Maybe Make Me Okay" again features Henry'
s vocals and more winding guitar lines. Their craftiness shines
through as they slip overtly poppy constructs into the driving
"Mysticated Girl." There are their now trademark guitar lines
woven throughout the tapestr y of powerful guitar chords and
sheets of classic vocal harmony. "Ex #1 Fan" is aided by a
clever set of lyrics that I find amazing. The lyrical prowess
keeps popping up throughout the record-check out "Gonna Take
A L ot To Stay" for another example. "Cars" is not a cover
of the Gary Numan tune, but is a timelessly built and very
Beatle-esque "skiffle" type tun e. There's that herky-jerky
rhythm, little extraneous noises and classic harmonies. It's
very "Sgt. Pepper's" era. "Wrong Side Of Bed" begins w ith
a lo-fi introduction before filling out into another full-on
humable melody. These folks are not kitchy; this is good solid
and honest pop mu sic.
The Churchills recall all those great pop
bands of the late eighties and the like that should have been
famous, but didn't get the wide acclaim. Although this music
would be considered accessible to most of the pop-con suming
public, it's not kiddie pop. This is strong guitar pop done
in th e most classic of ways and will probably really appeal
to one demographic of pop connoisseurs-the indie-pop fiends.
This is real pop music, like the British know how to produce.
The Churchills have certainly exceeded my preconceptions,
and probably will do the same for you.
1. Beautiful (Coulda Woulda)
2. Ex #1 Fan
4. Everybody Gets What They Deserve
6. Gonna Take A Lot To Stay
8. Running In Circles
9. Wrong Side Of Bed
10. Cold As Steel
11. Mysticated Girl
12. Maybe Make Me Okay