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J Church - Society Is A Carnivorous Flower (Cover Artwork)

J Church

J Church: Society Is A Carnivorous FlowerSociety Is A Carnivorous Flower (2004)
No Idea Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I feel a bit sorry for J Church, for upon their emergence from a lengthy hiatus they unleashed a very similar monster to the one from that other prolific 90s pop-punk act, albeit to far less attention. I'm talking the Rock Opera, which Lance Hahn and company deliver in fine form on the 15-minute mul.
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I feel a bit sorry for J Church, for upon their emergence from a lengthy hiatus they unleashed a very similar monster to the one from that other prolific 90s pop-punk act, albeit to far less attention. I'm talking the Rock Opera, which Lance Hahn and company deliver in fine form on the 15-minute multiple-movement politically charged epic "Society Is A Carnivorous Flower." While the release dates clearly prove J Church was first out the gate, I'm quite sure we'll get the "this is just ripping off Jesus Of Suburbia" quip soon enough.

In reality this is all in the tradition of what Pete Townshend got rolling in the 60s, although far closer in breadth to "A Quick One, While He's Away" than it is to Tommy. "Society" deviates from the tradition in that it's not quite a cohesive narrative, but is rather tied together thematically: It's a tale of urban alienation and class war filtered through a lens of sexual frustration (so a tad more serious than Ivor the engine driver). Fortunately despite its length the track never loses its focus or energy and makes an all around enjoyable listen. With this as the jewel in the crown, J Church's sixth full length is a fine half hour of inspired, passionate punk rock.

Leading up to the main attraction are six tight examples of J Church's characteristically frantic punk-pop, sure to please fans of their output in the 90s. One of the most frequent complaints about the band's preceding record was that One Mississippi, packed with 26 tracks, was too much to take in at once. Anyone of that opinion should be very pleased with the brevity of this record then, as the songs (title track excepted of course) fire by without overstaying their welcome and are quite engrossing while they last. Hahn remains a remarkably literate songwriter (his attack on elitist college music nerds is golden: "You worship Nico/You spit on Yoko") and both he and David DiDonato go above and beyond with the guitar work on the record. Society may be a bit more rough hewn than some of the band's past work, but the busy, looser sound fits the band better than big production would have.

Despite the grandeur and ambition of its title track, Society Is A Carnivorous Flower doesn't carry the self-important baggage of some of this year's high-profile releases, and for that alone it's worth checking out. I'm happy to say that the 2004-model J Church have delivered quite a satisfying little punk rock record.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
exilesamongyouyouyou (January 17, 2013)

More people need to listen to this album. Seriously.

mike_litt69 (March 17, 2007)

honestly this band is so fucking good

adam (October 7, 2004)

No I'm not going to mention Yes or The Mars Volta. This isn't a big prog epic, it's a big rock song, way closer to what the Subhumans or Who did.

Fuck prog.

-adam

Anonymous (October 7, 2004)

One: Didn't the mars volta do it a little before Green Day? thought so.
Two: If you're gonna talk epics and not mention the band Yes, you've got problems.

Anonymous (October 7, 2004)

this band slays

boba_fett (October 6, 2004)

how about a charlotte church review?

adam (October 6, 2004)

"now that this older no idea album has been reviewed, will someone please review the new(er) trapdoor fucking exit? i've been waiting since february and don't want to buy it until i hear something."

It's on my list of stuff to do in the next week or so. I really like it.

-adam

Anonymous (October 6, 2004)

"now that this older no idea album has been reviewed, will someone please review the new(er) trapdoor fucking exit? i've been waiting since february and don't want to buy it until i hear something."

I'm friends with them, and i have to say that it sounds exactly like their other cd's, but just more raw and alot harder...and slower.

Anonymous (October 6, 2004)

now that this older no idea album has been reviewed, will someone please review the new(er) trapdoor fucking exit? i've been waiting since february and don't want to buy it until i hear something.

CallingLondon (October 6, 2004)

uh...damn right i worship nico and spit on yoko. fucking bitch.

Anonymous (October 6, 2004)

J Church is one of my favorite bands. This album is an interesting progression, sticking to what Lance has always done: quirky, intelligent pop punk songs, with a little experimentation thrown in. If you haven't heard J Church I would highly recommend earlier releases such as Prophylaxis and Quetzalcoatl or even Nostalgic for Nothing before this one, but it is definitly a good album. I'm not yet used to the dual guitar work, but it's a fresh change for Lance.

bichodomatojim

Anonymous (October 5, 2004)

this shit blows. then again, so does heisel. ZING!

Anonymous (October 5, 2004)

Where's the new Good Charlotte review? Dammit, I'll hop on over to www.absolutepunk.net and read it.

-Chinatown

hey_sailor (October 5, 2004)

Saw these guys live last year and it was an AMAZING show...haven't heard this yet but I'm sure it rocks pretty hard.

Anonymous (October 5, 2004)

I love this band.

OC

inagreendase (October 5, 2004)

green day rip-offs.

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