John Cale & Terry Reilly: Church of Anthrax

Fri, Jul 4, 2014, 00:00


Church of Anthrax

John Cale & Terry Reilly

Esoteric Recordings


Regarded on its 1971 release as a minimalist, unsatisfying concoction between two motivating forces in the avant-garde, Church of Anthrax receives a respectful reissue treatment: remastered music, restored artwork, new liner notes. That it was originally reviewed poorly (“keyboard doodles posing as improvisations,” fumed Village Voice) isn’t surprising. Still, 43 years later, fear of the unorthodox has largely passed. The opening title track lays out the sonic stall with a directness that refuses to deviate from freeform funk laid down by strolling bass, crashing drums, cyclical organs and stabbing sax. The only song (the folksy Soul of Patrick Lee) still seems out of place, but for those who like their minimalism spiked with broken glass (notably Ides of March), perhaps it’s time to open the door and walk down the aisle?
Download: Ides of March, Soul of Patrick Lee