Church made its first appearance in Bend this fall, playing a joint show with Tender Loving Empire label mates Finn Riggins where the band showed off its strong songwriting but also an ability to twist their pop sound by way of high-flying numbers that expand to fill a room. The quartet's latest record, Song Force Crystal, is a departure from its previous work, featuring long instrumental breakdowns that use the big reverb sounds of an early My Morning Jacket, but flavored by Northwest erudition rather than Southern charm.
Fronted by brothers Brandon and Richard Laws, Church has only been a band since 2007, have built a following in their native Portland and have now turned their attention to the road, hitting up most of the West Coast this month. Church's sound ranges from fiercely simplistic, ethereal numbers full of open, echoey spaces to louder, bigger and far more experimental songs that showcase more of the act's instrumental mastery. The six-plus minute "Graveyard," the opening cut on Song Force Crystal, gives a taste of both the simple and complex - a perfect display of the band's true talent.
So go to Church. Rock music can save you.
Church, Sweet Harlots
8pm Friday, December 4. The Annex, 51 NW Greenwood Ave. $5.