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Day 167: Telekinesis – 12 Desperate Straight Lines

14 Aug

You Turn Clear in the Sun

Long time readers of Swole Ear may remember my post about the other Telekinesis record.  I’m too lazy to go back and check exactly what I said about that album, but I think it was something along the lines of “this is a good, albeit derivative, indie rock record.”

Honestly, I could just reuse that post, and it would fit perfectly with 12 Desperate Straight Lines.  Telekinesis has done it again; the band has made yet another solid album, one that sounds like a million others already out there.  That’s not to say that I love the band or its music any less.

“We fell in love in the Summer / by the Spring time we were done/ is it any wonder that I didn’t run?” sings Michael Benjamin in the first few seconds of You Turn Clear in the Sun, Straight Lines’ opening track.  It’s a soft, fuzzy, warm little number that starts off the record in a manner very similar to the band’s other LP.  No, these aren’t genius lyrics, and yeah, I’m probably doing my Swole Ear double-standard thing again, but I really like this band for whatever reason.  It’s my attraction to melodrama shining through, I guess.

So is it a bad thing that a band made the exact same record twice?  Is it a bad thing that I don’t care, and I like both of these records all the same?  I think it’s a no to both of those questions.  I know, I’ve written about how it’s cool to see a band’s sound evolve over the years, but I also love me some comfort music.  That’s what we’ve got here.  If you’re a hater, you’re bound to hate.

Day 44: Telekinesis – Telekinesis!

13 Apr

Coast of Carolina

Telekinesis is comprised of one dude: Michael Benjamin.  Even with two first names, he remains a single person, a person who is capable of putting together an entire kick-ass album by himself.  I always find that interesting.  What must go through the mind of someone like that?  Is it a superiority thing?  Does he think that he is the only person capable of realizing the vision that is Telekinesis!?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t really matter, though. With Telekinesis’ debut, Benjamin proved that he ain’t need nobody.

What makes Telekinesis! so great is its simplicity.  Benjamin doesn’t go over the top and play an entire symphony by himself, as pretty much every song is made up of 4/4 percussion, a couple of layers of guitars, vocals, and every now and then, a little piano.  Benjamin knows that the best songs are often the ones that require the smallest amount of digestion on the listener’s part. He doesn’t touch on any complex themes with his lyrics, sticking mostly with love, the indie rock standby.  He never goes into any face-melting guitar riffs or gut-busting drum solos, and he knows that he doesn’t need to.  All components of the album blend together spectacularly, probably because the same person put them all together.

There actually was not a single track on this record that I didn’t like.  Benjamin has that indie-pop sound down to a science.  Catchy guitars, simple beats, and melodramatic lyrics are used liberally throughout the record, and sure, he’s not reinventing the genre, but he doesn’t need to.