Monday, 1 December 2014

7 Inch Singles Collection: The Telescopes - Everso

Looking for something noisy...


A-Side: Everso
B-Side: Wish Of You

(Creation 1990)

The Telescopes came to my attention through their first album (Taste) and an earlier single (To Kill A Slow Girl Walking) - both showed a band who had a good handle on noise and could produce a visceral wail of a sound, mixed with a good tune, and some interesting lyrics. This didn't last they branched off into a slightly different direction, in fact they may even be accused of jumping on a bandwagon, or following the herd, because their sound went from something that was often nightmarish, to something more dreamy. I would go as far as to lump them in with the scene that the music papers called "shoegazing". I'm not going to go into that whole scene right now, as I have some good examples of that to come into the future. 

The change in direction was heralded by this single, Everso, bought in the expectation of one thing but ultimately delivering another. I was disappointed at the time, not so much because of the music itself, but because they were a lot of other bands doing something similar and doing it well, and I thought The Telescopes already had a great sound going for them. What do I think now? Well it's not so great a leap as I thought, nearly quarter of a century ago. It's still noisy, but the noise is less harsh, there are layers of guitar that wash in and out - all with the full range of effects; lots of delay, and reverb, and echo. The vocals are very low down in the mix almost incidental to the whole song. It's livelier than I remember though, and still has some of the aggression that I had thought was gone - and it's coupled with a funky drum beat. I quite like the way the music stops for the singer to drawl our "Everso" briefly, before it all fires up again. The sleeve is quite apt as that is as good a visual representation od the sound of the song as you could ever get.

On the flip side is Wish Of You - is is just me, or does that seem like a somewhat awkward title? It's a bit less "on trend" than the a-side, in that there were no obvious hooks, the rhythm wasn't as straight forward and it was much slower. It starts very quite with some "uhs" being vocalised, then the chiming guitars work their way into the song. The vocals are more prominent than the a-side, but pretty much as indecipherable. It's much more reminiscent of how the Telescopes used to sound.

It's pretty much a transitional record for a group that are moving (albeit everso slightly) from one sound to another. There is much that is enjoyable about this record, but little to make me come back to it regularly.

That was the fifth record in a row from 1990 - next time something not from that year...

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