The Telescopes is an English psychedelic band that was first formed in 1987. The group was influenced by artists like Suicide, The Velvet Underground, and The 13th Floor Elevators. The group’s style spans across psychedelic-related genres, including psychedelic rock, space rock, dream pop, noise rock, drone, shoegaze, and experimental rock. According to the group’s Wikipedia page, The Telescopes have released a total of 12 studio albums thus far. This album, Songs of Love and Revolution (2021), is the group’s most recent record, and seems to have been generally well-received, reaching #35 on the UK Independent Albums OCC charts. I’m pretty stoked to give this album a listen, so with that said, I’m going to jump on into the music.
“This is Not a Dream” gets started after a moment with some low, deep, bass-heavy fuzz guitars that create a sort of dark shoegazing sound that I’m really digging so far. I really dig the way the bass line keeps steadily rolling along with the beat. The soundscape sounds like Trent Reznor decided to make a shoegazing song, and I’m really digging the experience thus far. Holy smokes, lead guitar comes in with some heavily fuzzed flavors that seem to go between feedback and noise rock lines with what seems to be a faint echo of psychedelic rock guitar flavor. Wow, I’m really digging this track. The heaviness of the fuzz almost reminds me of really heavy stoner rock, but the overall feel seems more along the lines of a dark shoegazing sound. Oh wow, I really dig the noise, reverb, and feedback effects that come in for the outro of the song. Wow, great track, and I’m excited to hear more.
“Strange Waves” gets grooving with a bit more of an upbeat feel in the bass line, which sounds absolutely massive. The guitar work at the beginning of the track adds some really interesting psychedelic effects that I really dig. Holy smokes, the fuzz and noise guitar comes in with a ton of dark, heavy flavor for the chorus. The soundscape almost feels like Trent Reznor meets The Black Angels meets shoegazing with the way the rhythm section flows along with the experimental and noise guitar work. Wow, great tune.
“Mesmerised” fades in with a really tranquil psychedelic conglomeration of shimmering cymbals and melty, tremolo’d guitar work. I really dig how massive the bass drum and bass guitar sound together. Holy smokes, the sparse use of the tambourine adds a really interesting jangly element to the soundscape that reminds me of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. There’s something really mesmerizing about the mellow psychedelia of the soundscape, which I suppose fits the name of the song very well. I’m honestly considering purchasing the album on vinyl already, just partially into the first third of the album. I just went to The Telescopes’ Bandcamp page for the album, and a suggested listening was Sonic Boom’s All things Being Equal (2020), which makes a ton of sense because Sonic Boom aka Peter Kember was in Spacemen 3, which is sort of what this track reminds me of. Wow, great track.
“Come Bring Your Love” starts out with a sort of dark, mellow, melty psychedelic feel with a massive bass guitar and a drippy electric guitar, and what sounds to be some sort of distant raga and/or eastern European folk-inflected noise rock guitar line. Holy smokes, I’m really digging this track so far. Holy smokes, the track suddenly breaks through to a massive, fuzzed, noise rock and dark shoegazing section that I’m really digging. Oh wow, I really dig the sound effects and noise section at the end of the song. Great tune.
“This Train” starts out with what sounds to be a quick psychedelic blues rock line that quickly becomes something of a droning raga-inflected accentuation to the soundscape as the rhythm section and droning vocals. Oh wow, the raga-inflected guitar line picks up some heavy fuzz/distortion at certain moments. Holy smokes, I’m really digging what sounds to be a droning keyboard or other instrument in the background, which sort of has a spacey, mellow krautrock feel that contrasts with the noise/experimental/fuzzed guitar work really nicely. Wow, great tune.
“Songs of Love and Revolution” starts out with a big-sounding rhythm section with the drums and bass that has been largely present throughout the entire album thus far, and some mellow rhythm guitar lines that complement the drums and bass nicely. The lead guitar line has a really chaotic, experimental feel that I’m really digging. The darkness and experimental feel of the track sort of remind me a bit of Death in June. Wow, great tune.
“You’re Never Alone with Despair” starts out with a big, almost distant-sounding rhythm section, alongside a sort of droning, experimental lead guitar line. The tone of the song thus far reminds me a lot of “Something I Can Never Have” by Nine Inch Nails. I really dig the mellowness of the rhythm section and vocals in contrast with the mildly distorted experimental and psychedelic lead guitar line. Wow, another great track.
“We See Magic and We Are Neutral, Unnecessary” starts out with a droning line that is soon joined by an extremely chaotic symphony of experimental sounds that seem to continually take the tune further into psychedelic territory. Holy smokes, the tune has almost a double-time feel compared to the previous track. The chaotic experimental/noise sounds from the guitars stop for a moment, temporarily releasing tension that made me aware of how fast the song feels like it’s going, with absolutely no signs of slowing down either. Oh wow, the tune seemingly mellows out, as chaos gives way to some sort of droning, raga-inflected, melodious psychedelic outro. Wow, great track.
“Haul Away The Anchor” starts out with sounds from a sealine, almost reminding me of the beginning of “Wonderwall” by Oasis. Oh wow, a super sweet, mellow, distant, droning folk instrument comes in with a soothing melody that plays underneath the sounds of the birds and crashing waves of the seashore. Wow, great track, and a great way to finish the album.
Holy smokes, this album is great. I’m strongly fighting the urge to buy the album on vinyl at the moment, as I really ought to save my money. One thing is certain though, I will be checking out more of The Telescopes’ discography soon. If you’re into a sort of dark mixture of mellow psychedelia and shoegazing that blends together with chaos, experimentalism, and noise rock, then you might want to consider checking out this album. If you do decide to give this album a listen, then I sincerely do hope that you enjoy the listening experience at least as much as I did.