Stone Tape – The Telescopes (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

The_Telescopes_-_Stone_Tape_(cover)The word drone has some very negative connotations, a word associated with dull, monotonous or consistently boring sound by most people. But The Telescopes are nothing if not arch-dream weavers of the sounds that others are afraid to explore, the delvers in anti-acoustics, sonically pulling the insides out of more easily recognised music and working with its primal urges, its ancient core,its otherness, its drone. With vocals set at a level that buries them deep below the top line of the guitars, this is music not fashioned out of dynamic interplays and vibrant variance but instead uses hypnotic repetitions, industrial textures and slow ponderous pace to travel to the musical cliff edge.

Songs such as Everything Must Be are barely songs at all, not as most people would categories them and almost fall into that “music as art and academia” that the likes of Dave Wesley have been peddling so eloquently over the years, happy to bruise and brood rather than communicate in the conventional sense. At the other extreme, though to be fair the extreme here isn’t much more than a short hop, songs such as Silent Water and Become The Sun sail close to the beat and cavernous beauty of Tombstones In Their Eyes and final song on the record, Dead Inside, almost sounds like Jesus and Mary Chain playing in the building across the street, a swirl of creative cacophony and candescent chaos floating towards you on the breeze.

And much like the academic and scientific influences the aforementioned Mr Wesley uses to pose his musical questions, this album also comes from an interesting place, The Stone Tape Theory being build around the concept that inanimate objects can absorb, store and recall energy it has absorbed as a result of proximity to emotional or traumatic events.

The Telescopes have always worked on their own sonic terms finding beauty in an array of found sound and mimicking them with the tools at hand. Sounds such as radio static and the echos of the big bang, white noise and badly tuned televisions, dying amps and broken guitars all of which they use to fashion their own psychedelic death dirges.

And with every other shoegaze and post-punk band seemingly coming out of retirement for a second bite of the bitter cherry, hopefully The Telescopes will find an audience with a taste for what they have to offer. Yes, their music is dryer, darker and deeper than it has ever been and will confound expectations and confront those looking for their rose-tinted, I was there moment, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Nietzsche contemplated staring into the abyss, this is the sound of the abyss staring back.

The album is released via Yard Press, a label whose umbrella ranges beyond just music and into cultural content – visual arts, books and events – and can be found in both digital form and as a limited vinyl pressing

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About Dave Franklin

Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.
This entry was posted in alt-rock, neo-psychedelic, post-punk, psychedelic, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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