Tag Archives: debut album

Telekinesis – Telekinesis!

Telekinesis – Telekinesis! (Morr Music)

Telekinesis!

The best summer records are more than just simple, jolly songs played on acoustics with a little bit of fuzz – you have to capture all elements of the season. The sitting down, the water, the sweat of activity, maybe some romance if you haven’t already cracked a bottle. This is why Teenage Fanclub can be said to produce some summery material, but have not recorded a summer album. The Lemonheads’ ‘It’s A Shame About Ray’, on the other hand, nails it with a blend of exuberance and Evan Dando’s slackerisms. Telekinesis have at the summer album and pretty much nail it too.

The opening sketch ‘Rust’ is the perfect entrée, wistful, homespun and excellently lo-fi, and the following set seeks to gently tweak and rummage its way through your Jun-Sep (if we’re lucky). Main man Michael Benjamin Learner is clearly someone to whom lightness has little adjoining shade, preferring instead the jamboree-pop favoured on all those classic records from nineteen-seventy-whatever. Which means that this is not a record dripping with invention, but it is one that understands the multifarious nature of summer, its stickiness and its sweetness, its sensations and its silliness.

This is out BLOODY TODAY. I don’t care if it’s raining, get it and enjoy the summer. Have a listen. This review is in this month’s Artrocker, which you should buy and stuff. I don’t mean buy and then stuff it, I was being flippant.

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Japandroids – Post-Nothing

Japandroids – Post-Nothing (Polyvinyl)

japandroids

The sleeve of Post Nothing looks more than a little like the sleeve of Television’s Marquee Moon. Co-incidence or not, it’s interesting. What Japandroids share with Television is their extreme economy – both sound desperate to make the most impressive sound possible with the little physical attributes they have, resulting in some tremendous tricks that colour and shape their songs. Where they differ, though, is on dramatics. Television blustered their economy into a semblance of immense tension and release, while Japandroids gleefully make music as positive, scattergun and running-too-fast as its possible to make with just guitar and drums. They are hugging a little bit on the cover, too. 

Chord patterns and riffs are reminiscent of chugging Thurston Moore on Heart Sweats and of Deep Purple being rinsed by Kinski on Crazy/Forever, but their sense of abandon is totally their own. Truly, there is little more heartening than the chorusing wails that pepper Post-Nothing. So what, though, right? As if no-one ever screams. So something less tangible about this pair has to affirm our belief that they love to shout together, and a closer listen suggests that it’s nothing more complicated than the fact that they have to struggle to be heard amidst the aforementioned slushing mix of guitar and drum. Even if you could hear them whispering, you know they wouldn’t be.

Young Hearts Spark Fire is bumbling, bouncy and perhaps the closest thing to radio-friendly on the whole album. It speaks (or, as established, shouts) of forgotten potential, but is conversely obsessed with letting all existentialism die – “I don’t wanna worry about dying, I just wanna worry about the sunshine girls,” is a line that, if serious, is an effective raison d’être for Post-Nothing and a smashing pull-quote for this most triumphant of revolutions. When at the four-and-a-half minute-mark, the instruments stop to let extended screams take the foreground, a potent juxtaposition of two brands of chaos. Throughout, Brian King and David Prowse are just itching for that moment to come around, the moment when they can let their voices be as loud as their amplifiers.

The teenager-y fixations of some of the lyrics serve more than anything to unite this pair further in their quest for expressions most pure. When they yelp of not finding love, it makes the love in their songs flow even clearer and closer to the surface. But when that’s not doing it, the sheer conviction of the playing and the love of extreme volume combined with the duo’s unbeatable youthful bounding tips the whole proposition into great territory. On the Japandroids MySpace is a video of the band rehearsing at the end of which Brian King comments on the song they’ve just finished playing. “Less than five fuck-ups? That’s good enough to play live.” This, undoubtedly, should let the listener know where the energy in this band is directed. Noise, positivity, clarity, unity.

The UK release for this is August 3rd. Listen to a few songs from it here. You can also read this review at The Quietus, here.

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The Long Lost – S/T

The Long Lost – S/T (Ninja Tune)

The Long Lost

While it lithely makes use of simultaneous humanity and technology (and who says the two can’t exist in symbiosis?), the debut album from The Long Lost also manages to shoehorn an innate musicality into proceedings. The deft syncopation of the vocal line on Amiss, the cross-rhythms of the guitar and vocal on Sibilance and the continual murmur of neatly selected vocal samples are all subtly woven rather than heavily sewn into the milieu, lending the record an ease comparable with a seated Caetano Veloso and Seu Jorge’s lighter moments (y’know, the ones where it’s political but you’ve slept through it quite happily).

With great relaxation comes great responsibility, and it’s paramount that it doesn’t slide into pure dinner party dross. If it’s a part of your nature to soothe, then you must barb your music in other areas to ensure that total relaxation can never quite come. With The Long Lost, it’s in these little tricks. The syncopations, the welcome titters of electronics, the continual promise of more intrigue to come. The sweet The Art Of Kissing features reasonably uncomplicated octave-spaced vocals, but the real weight is in the constantly pulsating arrangement. There are always other places to look.

A balance to be struck, then. The Long Lost manage, for the most part, to teeter on the pleasant ends of either side of this bizarre act. While there are dangerous moments where interest can be tested by sheer laconic charm, the occasional thrust of Espers-esque vocal harmony more than compensates. Involving and interactive, an envelope of sensation, and a few inches short of excellent.

The Long Lost arrives on March 2nd via Ninja Tune. More info and the chance to jam your ears here.

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