You might be surprised by this if you only remember the Telescopes from Creation Records (as catalogued on the likes of the Scared To Get Happy compilation of 80s indiepop). Having gone through various incarnations since forming in 1987, they’re firmly in the noise/ drone-rock camp at this stage in their career. Melody Maker talked about a sonic “maelstrom” in 1989 but nothing better describes the broiling drones and rhythms that make up this, their 8th record.
With only 5 tracks in 35 minutes, it’s easy to describe each in playing order. ‘You Know The Way’ is violent noise-rock, the accompaniment to recordings of tortured souls in hell, and ‘Absence’ is nearly five and a half minutes of droning, throbbing, crackling noise. ‘In Every Sense’ is a JAMC 45 played at 16rpm just as you’re going under the dentist’s gas, distinguished by a doomy guitar riff that’s trapped in slow-trickling psychedelic rhythms.
‘Don’t Bring Me Round’ is menacing, throbbing, drone rock, the sound you sense as well as hear when you visit heavy industry and take off your ear protectors though, at only 3 and a half minutes, it’s virtually the single. Finally, ‘The Living Things’ closes things, the longest saved for last. It’s 15 minutes of unstoppable dreampop, a lavaflow of esoteric noise, filled with fuzzing, droning, humming, pulsing, swirling, whooshing red-lining sounds. It has the same effect as sleep paralysis, pumping data through the brain while your limbs are immobile, unable to breach the flow of neural narcosis as guitars pour out ever weirder screeds and the percussion mercilessly drives on the song.
For old Creation hands, the Telescopes have got better with age (and you can’t say that about the Gallagher brothers…), the band mining new ideas and coming up with something so mind-twisting it should be on prescription.