View to a ThrillTHE TELESCOPES
THE Telescopes know this thing about shared suffering is a desperate, shabby part of the whole myth of performance. "It hurts too much to be where you are," the singer with the baby-faced cool confesses, and so we let them deputise for our despair.
If this is existence at a distance, though, it's a damned sexy isolation, and one expressed without the psychedelic sheeting of Spacemen 3, or Loop's rhythmic bludgeoning. This band have even managed to f*** up pop a little on their way without announcing the fact. The Telescopic sound is one which sucks up rather than folds out and envelops - a dark funnel with narrow walls and only the meanest chink of light at the end. Cold comfort there. If this is psychedelia, then it's in traction, set hard and hostile. The contentiously-titled "Perfect Needle", all fat, fuzzed guitar, is about retro as they that ambiguous promise. The ghost of prize loon Syd Barret gets his tuppence in, but then so do Iggy and the Stooges and Suicide, so that doesn't mean a lot. The Telescopes walk tall enough to thrown their own shadow.
What they carve out is a pepped up/drugged-out gyro full of furiously buzzing guitars that never wander too far off course, with the voice at its core. Fag in hand, the singer darts down into a tight, animal crouch, and lies in wait like that until the next rising scream jerks him back to his feet. Just when you think they've settled into a cosy, mesmeric roll, they slam you up sharp against some mean guitar spike and it's all over. In between those slabs of foamy-mouthed fury, the spaces positively tremble.
"Killing a Girl Slowly Walking" is something new that stalks a linear path with danger everywhere, while the older "Sadness Pale" has an intro that Lush must lust after. Tonight The Telescopes are moving at two speeds simultaneously, clever by anyone's standards, and we can barely keep up. Mindful of our distance, we let them call the shots with noises that burn. SHARON O'CONNELL Picture: Dave Willis
Originally appeared in Melody Maker January 20, 1990. Copyright © Melody Maker