This is the stunning new full-length album “Songs of Love And Revolution” by the celebrated ‘gaze outfit The Telescopes (UK), out on February 5, 2021, via Hamburg based independent label Tapete Records, and every time they release something new we must consider them once again; The Telescopes is not an ordinary rock band or anything else ordinary shoegaze. They have been described by the British music press as ‘more a revolution of the psyche than a revolution of the sidewalk’; a thread consistent throughout a body of work spanning over 30 years.
All of this is utterly true with respect to Stephen Lawrie and his insistence on the vision of The Telescopes act. Also, Tapete Records proudly underlines
‘This is the 12th album by The Telescopes, music for a four-piece ensemble that will never sound the same twice in any given environment or to any set of ears.’
I couldn’t agree more with all these people.
It is the restless heart of Lawrie and his mates who are responsible for this new kind of reshape the foundations of the scenery, and proof of it in the course of the band is their every new record. From the abstract field recordings’ use in their music to the wall of sound matter in the studio, The Telescopes steadily evolve and steadily reshape their sound, leading it all towards and through new quests and explorations.
Last year they released two monumental live albums, “Live At Spacefest Gdañsk, Poland,(2015)” – an album of high energy shoegaze for the fans of music in general, and “Live Sessions” that captured the moment of creation of the noise in two different studios with the band live in the studio – a release that addresses mainly the young with guitars and their ‘gaze boards and gear. This year they are releasing “Songs Of Love And Revolution” LP (February 5, 2021) and the first one to appear was “Strange Waves”, a song so cool and nice, and a song that can also easily confuse the new fans of the band as it is not the ‘appropriate’ track to get into the realms of the band. But which one from Lawrie’s endless quiver is the ‘appropriate’ for the introductions?
And if you continue to “Mesmerized” it will all start taking shape, not the final one, but it is a good piece to the puzzle. The band plays shoegaze, yes, but with a lot of drone and psych and noise rock too, and with a keen on keeping that wall wet with effects and technique that only a handful of other ‘prophets’ dare.
The Telescopes were always a bit out of the box from the shoegaze trend themselves, but funny and quite ‘sacred’ is when they are invited to the stages of the world (festivals, clubs, etc) as a titanic force of the genre and a band with the most respect by all. You see, they don’t offer shoegaze music like racing with the other fine shoegaze racers, no, they are constantly offering the origins of the technique with a long string of releases for 30+ years now. And they are not a laidback pack of old wolves wandering around with their crowns, they don’t need that. The Telescopes will never give you the new paths of ‘gaze music but they always unveil their own mysticism with their attempts to going closer to the matter, and like in such cases, all origins are now new again; like smelling the soil for the first time, again. You wanna call it shoegaze, fine! You want it drone, it is too! You hear in it the noise-rock grooves, sure! Psychedelia, absolutely!
Occasional tribal underlayers, you got it! You must be getting prepared for February 5. What, wanted me to review each track and explain what I heard? But this is impossible with The Telescopes, keep this from the top of the article
“It is music for a four-piece ensemble that will never sound the same twice in any given environment or to any set of ears”.
Here is their new bizarre album “Songs Of Love And Revolution“!!!
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Written by Loud Cities’ Mike