Every so often a band comes along that challenges boundaries, alters perceptions and, ultimately, changes the game. The Telescopes are one of those bands and have been doing so for over three decades now. Showing no sign of slowing down yet, the pioneering British noise-rock/shoegaze underdogs are now gearing up to release a new single, titled Strange Waves, on Fuzz Club Records.
‘Strange Waves’ marks a return to the distorted, malevolent garage-rock sound of the band’s earliest releases. Meanwhile over on the flipside, ‘The Speaking Stones’ represents one of Lawrie and The Telescopes’ most audacious pieces to date. Fusing drone and noise segments while clocking in at just under fourteen-and-a-half minutes, it’s the sound of a band still refusing to compromise on any level. It was discovering Suicide and 13th Floor Elevators that would be an integral, formative influence on Stephen’s work many decades ago and, as this new single shows, those macabre rock’n’roll sensibilities are still an omnipresent force in his music today – only, true to the Telescopes way, everything is submerged in an ever-mutating wall of dark, unforgiving noise.
Centred around the inimitable driving force that is Stephen Lawrie, The Telescopes have constantly evolved since putting out their first release (‘Forever Close Your Eyes’, a split flexi-disc with Loop) back in 1988. With an ever-changing cast of musicians to complement Lawrie’s ideas, The Telescopes have never had time to stand still or rest on their laurels. Instead, Lawrie and his band of cohorts have continuously strived to reinvent themselves with every passing record, making them an impossible band to categorise or compartmentalise into any specific genre.Reflecting on his thirty-year career, Stephen Lawrie offers the following manifesto: “The Telescopes are more a revolution of the psyche than the sidewalk. Question everything.”
The Oscillation are one of the best bands in the world. I have all the recent stuff on vinyl and was delighted to pick this harder-to-find earlier LP off via Bandcamp. These tunes are a bit more crisp and punchy than the later stuff with an obvious nod to Spacemen 3/Spiritualized and show them at an earlier stage of their psych journey. Needless to say, it is brilliant, panoramic, adrenaline-fuelled and life-affirming stuff. deadshotkeen
Holy smoke. One of the finest contemporary psych albums I've heard. Like an acoustic Annexus Quam meets Popul Vuh circa Brüder des Schattens meets Amon Düül circa Paradieswärts Düül meets traditional musicians from rural Iran playing Fairport Convention's Matty Groves. Forward thinking heads from southern Arizona making music as authentic and transcendent as it comes. Mushroom Head