Steve Kilbey – Painkiller (CD)

As bassist and front man for Australian rockers The Church, Steve Kilbey has had a hand in turning out some of the more influential psychedelic pop songs of the late 80’s/early 90’s alternative scene. On his latest solo offering, his sixth, however Kilbey is running out of steam. The Aussie rocker known for penning classics like “Under the Milky Way” and “Metropolis,” simply sounds conflicted with this uneven record.

There is no consistent direction with the 11 songs that make up Painkiller. Kilbey goes from spitting out the lyrics on the album opener (“Outbound”), as if he’s exercising demons, and then quickly slips back into standard, trippy Church-mode with songs like “Crystalline Rush” and “Celestial,” before shifting into the drowsy “Song for the Masking.”

Apparently not sure if he wants to strike out on his own or simply write another record by The Church, Kilbey ends up doing little more than alienating fans of both, by failing to choose a direction and stick with it.

Top Tracks: “Celestial” and “Look Homeward Angel”

Ratings: 6 out of 10

Steve Kilbey – Painkiller/CD/2009/Second Motion/11 tracks/www.myspace.com/stevekilbey

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