CD Review: Telepathos
From the moment Cory Davis's guitar ricochet kicks off album-opener "Spineless," For the Voiceless invites obvious, even overly familiar, comparisons: Telepathos's moody reverb wash inevitably brings to mind the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. The dreamy opulence of "Spineless" shimmers with overtones of near-complacency, reminiscent of the sugary white noise of Psychocandy or the luxurious cocoon of Loveless. But beneath the surface, the local trio drives its music with a lingering undercurrent of paranoia, and that crucial tension helps the EP transcend mere imitation as it gradually unfolds into a murky, four-song mini-drama.
The band switches gears on "Sun Drug," a sudden sense of urgency shattering the calm thanks to Tom Hilde's jackhammer drumming and the stabs and swells of a synth straight out of "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Patrick Jackson's languid vocals feed the depressive atmosphere, but the manner in which he slurs his speech saves him from the looming fringes of an oppressive-sounding self-pity: The indecipherability of his words as they bleed into the feedback masks any sentiment beyond a general sense of grief, heightening the suspense with an edge of hostility as he teeters on a precipice between self-absorption and self-destruction.
The brooding lurch of "Reflector" then drags For the Voiceless into its deepest depths of Sturm and Drang before "Tetnis" brings proceedings to their denouement amidst a swirl of moans and sirens that rise in Gothic spirals. Jackson's menacing synth throws the listener into the middle of a scene that's already reaching its climax, another barrage of drums building into a smoldering intensity that finally burns out with eerie abruptness, leaving a hidden track to drift along in the wake. For the next five minutes, a cold clatter crackles like a broken radio transmission—the postscript, perhaps, to some ancient Greek tragedy, or simply the aftermath of an act of solitary desperation.
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