Album #353: The Telescopes – The Telescopes/# Untitled Second

  • Released: 1992
  • Origin: Burton-on-Trent, England
  • Label: Creation
  • Best Track: Ocean Drive

Today I’ve listened to the second album from shoegaze band The Telescopes (originally self-titled in 1992, then re-released as # Untitled Second in 2004) after reading that founding member David Fitzgerald passed away yesterday.

I’ve said before that I kind of hate doing this. It’s pretty mawkish to listen to and review an album just because someone who created it has died. I’d rather give someone attention and praise while they’re still alive! Still, I get my inspiration from anything that makes me think “I haven’t heard much of them”.

Given the context, it’s all the more unfortunate that I don’t like this album. It’s very one-paced and samey. The songs have a simplicity reminiscent of Mazzy Star, but lacking the magical chemistry Hope Sandoval and David Roback brought to their music, it all sounds a bit pedestrian.

I’ve heard better than this from The Telescopes, so maybe I just picked the wrong album. Indeed, the version I’m listening to on Apple Music contains four bonus tracks – ‘Tornado’, ‘Sunspray’, ‘The Sleepwalk’ and the EP version of ‘High on Fire’. I don’t know enough about the band to know where these songs sit in their chronology, but they’re a lot more interesting than what’s on the main album.

I only judge the album by what’s on the original release though, which leaves ‘Ocean Drive’ and the voyaging ‘Spaceships’ as the best tracks on what for me is a disappointing record.

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