Music News

The Telescopes

Although this band of Limey distorto-demons has made quite a name in the UK recording for Creation, the label that birthed My Bloody Valentine and Oasis, they're hardly known Stateside. This compilation collects most of their stunning legacy in one place, and for those unfamiliar with the group's sound, which alternates between abrasive pounding and hypnotic trance-outs, it's a joy.

Consisting of various singles and EPs, As Approved by the Committee is sure to draw comparisons to works by bands like My Bloody Valentine, Loop, and even the Vaselines. The Telescopes use a lot of feedback and offer druggy droning effects but calling these guys shoegazers would be a mistake because, on most of these tracks, it sounds as if their shoes are on fire. Incendiary might be a good way to describe something like "Suicide," a droning seven-minute opus that rivals the Warlocks for modern-day drug-infused psychedelia.

Of the early stuff, feedback is the glue that holds most of these tracks together. "Please Before You Go" contains piles of guitar distortion augmented by streams of random white noise. The result? It sounds not unlike Flipper. Later on, as they evolved, the 'Scopes would adapt more evocative textures such as on the celestial "Touch," which transcends the heavens, or the shimmering brilliance of "Everso," which is similar to what the Brian Jonestown Massacre did. Which makes sense, of course, since both bands have pursued a similarly under-the-radar existence, perfect for stargazers and shoegazers alike.

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Joe S. Harrington