Psychic Handshake

SEX CHURCH - Somnambulist LP

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Underground rock is an inevitably overlooked milieu, but to be shunned in your homeland is a slap in the face that Vancouver, British Columbia’s SEX CHURCH does not deserve. With a sound that evokes the endless vistas of rural Canada and the claustrophobic density of our country’s biggest cities, the band makes expansive greyscale music that recalls such Pacific Northwest notables as The Wipers, Unwound, and even Nirvana. Now, with the refined aggression of their excellent Somnambulist 12” EP, the band has made a bid for greater attention at home and abroad. Of course, Sex Church’s special significance was not lost on Providence, RI’s Load Records, who released the band’s epic Growing Over LP in 2011. That album was a masterpiece of psychedelic punk rock; and with its grinding guitars, towering rhythms, and tortured vocals, Somnambulist further refines that mastery for the band’s most mature statement yet. On “Hidden Hand,” corrosive guitars mesh with anguished vocals to conjure the image of a nightmare tumble down an endless staircase. On “Slipped,” the band’s knack for melancholy melodies evokes the elusive beauty that haunts our most ravaged scenes of urban decay. And on the eight-minute “Wrong Side,” the band surfs a bummer wave down a whirlpool of unwanted memories. Indeed, there is a romance and squalor to Sex Church’s Somnambulist EP that is sure to appeal to the damaged and the dead-beat. Edition of 500 copies.