|The Lords Of The New Church - 'The Gospel Truth (Box Set)' (Easy Action)|
|Written by Dom Daley|
|Wednesday, 16 January 2013 03:00|
Easy Action do it again with a mighty fine budget bustin' box set.
2012 must have truly gone down as the year of the re issue with some superb & lovingly put together box sets and compilations with the tail end of the year, giving us firstly the mighty 'L.A.M.F.' expanded to four discs, and now there's this one from The Lords Of The New Church.
Basically for less than twenty notes you can get your grubby black nail polished digits on three CDs of music and a lovely DVD all enclosed within a clamshell box that also contains a neat sixteen page booklet complete with some once rare pics of the band in its many guises and line ups.
First up we have disc one of the four which is marked as 'Studio Rarities '87 - '88', but I'm pretty sure most of these have previously been released as part of 'The 'Lords Prayer II' set that came out some years ago so not really that rare for true Lords collectors with the exception of the odd one or two. 'Making Time' gets things off to a great start and it does make you wonder how songs like this were actually left off the albums when they were released back in the day, songs like the awkward rhythm of 'Real Bad Time' which sounded superb (if my memory serves me correctly) in the band's live sets way back when.
'Walking The Dog' shows the pure rawness of James axe work and his lofty status as one of the finest telecaster slingers ever, and it also bodes the question "why do bands use layers of guitar effects?" when guitar and overdriven amp can and does slay most. By '85 with Tregunna now gone from The Lords line up the pretty massive boots were filled by Grant Flemming for these sessions and in fairness fill them he does. So if you never managed to pick up a copy of the aforementioned 'Lords Prayers' volumes one or two then this stuff will both excite and please you.The radio live workout of 'Gun Called Justice' is epic even if the tape wobble isn't but hey! It is what it is folks and the band interview will make you chuckle for nothing else other than Stiv's explanation for his motivation being Cocaine .....Next question...
I guess the only things missing would be the rare track that appeared on my French version of the 'Methods' album 'S.F. & T' which I'd imagine many fans will not have heard and I would have loved to hear the Lords playing 'Becoming A Nuisance' which later appeared on Brian's debut solo album.
Disc two is a recording of a show the band did in Cleveland at the Agora back in '82 and leans heavily as you'd imagine on the first album, and shows exactly how damn good this band was live. OK the sound might not be up to 2012 capabilities but again as a snapshot of that particular time songs like 'Russian Roulette' sound blistering, as do 'Portobello' and 'Apocalypso'. Again this was released many years ago with the radio links still present but captured in the context of this set it's well worth hearing.
Disc three then is a recording taken from Lyon in '86 and the quality is much better that disc two, the set is expanded (as you'd imagine) and includes songs taken from the 'Methods' album with the curious omission of the title track. Most of the band's back catalogue of albums are represented here with stunning versions of 'Crossroads' and the song used in the movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, 'Mindwarp' as well as 'Things Go Bump' and one of my all time favourites 'Black Girl White Girl'.
On the final fourth disc we get a much sought after bootleg over the years the concert filmed live in Vienna in '88. Boasting seven tracks filmed in quality isn't quite SVHS never mind HD this again is a fantastic snapshot of the band in full flight, this time with Danny Fury sitting in on drums. It's a great addition to the collection no doubt about, even if only for Stiv's between song banter. It might have been nice to have also secured the Spanish shows that are out there that were recorded for TV, as well as some footage (any footage) of the final shows the band played but hey ho! I'll take anything that's released by The Lords and this will do just fine. Because whilst I love the studios albums they left us to cherish it was live where they really excelled and having been lucky enough to have caught them a few times, including that infamous Astoria gig (now that would have been the one to film!)
Tagged onto the end of this DVD and not on the official tracklisting is the ECT performance the band had broadcast on Channel 4 featuring 'Russian Roulette' and the truly epic 'Methods To My Madness', which alone is worth the price of this box set.
All in all you can't go far wrong with 'The Gospel Truth' for under £20. For Lords fanboys like me it's a no brainer, and if you're just curious then it pretty much covers their career and would be a great place to start. Long live The Lords Of The New Church and all who sailed her. For they were one hell of a band.
Easy Action do it again folks now go buy, buy, buy!