The Religion
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The Religion


Band Alternative Avant-garde


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LP - Seas of Mercury (2009)



The ship is old. Its sails are weary, and torn of the wind. It’s seen the world a hundred times and sailed one trip too far. It’s time to rest this ship, and its captain helm a new vessel; one which shines the seas.

In a musical climate filled with neon-disco and bland singer-songwriters, an act will often stand alone, without touching the fickle trends of present. The Religion’s vast, classically-infused, blues influenced rock has done just that, bringing a ship that sails the seas of old, while pushing toward a new frontier. Quietly working away, having played shows all over Australia’s east coast, the band’s progressively inspired, heartfelt yet undeniably rocking sound has built a steadfast following on word of mouth, based purely on stellar musicianship and amazing live shows.

The four-piece is fronted by Joe Kelly, a man already well known in the city’s cabaret scene - as well as his amazing solo shows – it’s astonishing to believe his concert piano skills are mostly self taught. As for his voice, its rasp and warmth has recalled memories of those named Waits, Buckley and Cocker, yet still a muscle of its own. The rhythm section is bolstered by drummer Mark Traill (formerly of Andy Clockwise’s “Classic FM Band”) and bassist Gareth Huxam, while …. is in addition on guitar. Coming to the attention of new Sydney label Clubhaus Recordings, album demos reached the globe as far as Nashville, landing in the hands of Craig Cumming (head of Nashville’s legendary Alpha Studios) who came to Sydney to produce the album. It was then mixed by ARIA-winning engineer Anton Hagop (Silverchair, Powderfinger), and mastered in L.A by Brian Gardner, a stalwart who’s lent his touch to everyone from Queen to Beck to New Order and everyone in between. The album Seas of Mercury is due for release in May.

“..there’s no denying the passion in the voice of songwriter and pianist Joe Kelly. It adds texture to what takes him a million miles from Ben Folds or Elton John and out towards the likes of Dr John and Captain Beefheart.... There’s something of the prog epic here that recalls, if anything, of Floyd and Protocol Harem, yet it’s surprisingly fresh” Drum Media

It’s not often that music can move both body and soul, but along comes a song that not only has the spirit to drive thought, but the smack to get your hips shaking as well. Such is the album’s first single Innercile, to be released in February, followed by a national tour.

Lay down your lucky charms, the time has come.