What Goes On
THE Telescopes are rock'n' roll and the artifice of noise. After the lilting meander of "...And Let Me Drift Away", which opens "Taste", I think l anticpated the eruption of "I Fall, She Screams", just a split-second before it happened. Yes, it is kind of a cheap trick, but this is the sort of wilful petulance at which The Telescopes excel at. They love to momentarily affect stances of poised insensibility in order to imediately shatter the illusion with animalistic abandon; crawling on the ground, howling, belting-out great towering walls of glutinous mest
"There Is No Floor,, single-handedly fends off all the accusations of derivation and characterless homage that have piled up at their door. Here, as elsewhere, The 'Scopes rock out to a degree unheard of on this side of the Atlantic. Hell, this eats up trash aesthetics for breakfast which is perhaps why "The Perfect Needle" makes more sense here than it seemed to as a single. It'ss poke, its self-conscious images of abuse, and its lurching drama all serve to offset the surrounding fitful formlessness.
"Silent Water" is as passive as The Telescopes' outlook gets. Of course it's a screeching, whining ache of a song, but Lawrie is at the end of his tether, exhausted, and yearning to "slip below the surface". About the most positive The Telescopes get is "Please, Before You Go". Here Lawrie admits to being "on top of a mountain with you, I'm an elevator, I'm a seahorse for you now". More commonly another person is just another route to oblivion. 'Your kiss intoxicates me," a in "Threadbare'; is both a complaint and a compliment.
Thankfully, "Taste" doesn't exactly mark The Telescopes' coming of to demonstrate the degree to which they've dug their heels into a resolute, deliberate adolescence. This is the reason The Telescopes' evident longing for oblivion, self-abnegtion and absorption tends to be sought in impulsive and violent rather than passive forms - "Suffercation" (sic), the "slaughtered steel" of "Violence", the loaded gun of "l Fall".
"Suicide" is the most predictable, most appropriate title on the album, and the only possible way to end. Piling up monstrously, "Suicide" swells out into this gross, sprawling beast which finafly slumps inanimate-too f**ed to move- emitting an endless, throbbing howl. On and on, past patience and endurance it continues to moan,before eventually hitting the inevitable (but Christ it had to be there!) locked grnove. I'm taken back to the paradoxical conclusion of "Anticipating Nowhere": "Never ending has to stop, but when you stop it lasts forever."
The rest is silence.
Originally appeared in Melody Maker Oct 21, 1989. Copyright © Melody Maker