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Review: 'Telescopes, The'
'Exploding Head Syndrome'   

-  Label: 'Tapete Records'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '1st February 2019'

Our Rating:
Most bands reduce their output over time – The Fall and The Melvins standing as notable exceptions, maintaining insane work-rates over the course of several decades, with only the death of Mark E Smith halting the flow of an album every 18 months to two years in the case of the former.

The Telescopes were never a high-output band, taking 20 years to release six albums. So the arrival of ‘Exploding Head Syndrome’, which marks their fourth album since 2013’s ‘HARM’ signifies quite an acceleration in productivity. It doesn’t correspond with an acceleration of songs, though.

This is the murkiest of the murky, the most soporifically foggy albums you’re likely to hear all year. It’s barely audible above itself: the whole mix is low, and everything is lower and more buried than everything else, rendering it pretty much the diametric opposite of Motörhead.

From deep within a booming bass drone, under which suffocated guitar squirm in a near-silent scream of squalling treble, a drum echoes into the impenetrably dense atmosphere. The vocals are more or less submerged, and none of the songs evolve, instead shuffling along a stoned repetitious drone. There are shades: there’s twinkly indie-tinged drone, and shoegazey drone, and even brooding acoustic guitar-based drone, but these are mere hints of flavour in a slow-melting mix of drone heavily swathed in doped-up torpor.

In contrast to A Place to Bury Strangers’ ‘Exploding Head’ album, The Telescopes’ ‘Exploding Head Syndrome’ does little to evoke the experience of the parasomnia from which it takes its name. Instead, it crawls through a smog of introspection, a heavy haze of navel-gaze. And it’s a cracking album, if you can stay awake for the duration.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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Telescopes, The - Exploding Head Syndrome