Over five years and a series of EPs, Kettering ‘psych-driven fuzz & beat four-piece’ Thee Telepaths have amassed quite a catalogue, which is now crowned by the arrival of their full-length debut, which they describe as ‘a 42-minute kaleidoscopic mashup’. As is perhaps fitting for a band who’ve adopted the same font as Spacemen 3.
The album’s twelve tracks are divided into three movements or suites, ‘Alpha’, ‘Epsilon’, and ‘Delta’. If it sounds pretentious and proggy, don’t worry, the music isn’t – well, not too much. ‘Alpha - α – Part 1’ powers in with a great big dirty guitar that first crashes and then soars over an insistent, motoric beat. ‘Alpha - α – Part 2’ drifts into dreamy but dark post-punk, goth-tinged territory, with a nagging repetitive guitar motif and busy bass groove. This fifth and final part comes on like a hybrid of Spear of Destiny battling with Hawkwind. Some of the former is down to lead singer Dean’s vocals sharing both rang and stylistic elements with Kirk Brandon, but for the much of the album, they’re half-lost to echo.
‘Epsilon’ is altogether more proggy, spacey, with protracted guitar soloing ringing into an abysmal reverb, while the 4 parts of ‘Delta’ are lighter, more direct, and represent some of the shortest songs, hurtling toward the succinct but towering drama of the final part.
With the entire album running together to form one continuous sweep, it’s very much an album that requires beginning-to-end commitment and attention. And it’s worth it.