Live reviewYO LA TANGO & THE TELESCOPES
T & C2, LONDON
BORROWING the Valentine's hammer action guitars, the Mary Chain's snowstorm of feedback and the mind blowing incendiary of early Loop, The Telescopes' noise is as expeded, impressive.
Onstage, they're as detached, hollow and as emotionally drained as Colm and Bilinda. Transfixed by the void itself, Stephen Lawrie exists only in his own never-nether world. When he screams "everywhere is nowhere" on "Anticipating Nowhere" and then scowls "you are so threodbare" over and overlike J Mascison "Don't, he's the mutated apparition of Iggy Stooge. Elsewhere, still lost in the somnambulists' ether, he recites his paeans to hate, desire and confusion as one would absent-mindedly mouth a nursery rhyme. The words sounding so apocalyptical, so emphatically final I'm left mute.
Whether The Telescopes can silence the gripes and groans of the disillusioned and the disgruntled is, of course, another matter. Right now, they're cause for hope. I ask for no more. By contrast Yo La Tengo seem to know exactly where they're heading. Their latest release on What Goes On has served as a stimulating preface to manya dismal morning. Yo La Tengo's foundations are built on those similar to that of Flying Nun's Bailter Space and Snapper. The bass beats time like a metronome, affording frontman Ira Kaplan the scope to straddle the spectrum between a jarring, scratching Albini squeal and a more subtle eloquency that might one day pit its wits against that of Blue Aeroplanes.
The former is best viewed an the blistering work out "Evil That Men Do" the latter on "Barnaby Hardly Working", "Drug Test" and the mellifluous harmonies of"Alyda".
Sometimes it's a real drag, the monotony becoming unbearable. When it works the incandescence isa joy to behold. A bit more shine and a little less whine and maybe we'll see.
Originally appeared in Melody Maker July 8, 1989. Copyright © Melody Maker