Open to Interpretation
British noise band The Telescopes released their ninth studio album, As Light Return, this month and it has a lot to say in just five tracks that feature little lyricism. In interviews, The Telescopes’ founding member Stephen Lawrie has talked about this new album as him focusing on what inspires him musically; it shows, when one compares the LP to some of the group’s earlier work.
The Telescopes formed as a band in 1987 and have continued to release music through the years, even as their lineup changed. The group’s earlier work nicely fits within the ’90s era during which it was released, showcasing an edgier feel that made use of distorted guitars accompanied by catchy singing. However, As Light Return strips away some of these layers, leaving listeners with a much rawer, haunting sound that cannot be found in The Telescopes’ earlier releases.
The opening track, “You Can’t Reach What You Hunger,” sets the tone for the album with distorted guitars and Lawrie’s haunting voice. This theme carries on throughout the album, with each song offering a slightly different ambience as the album progresses.
As Light Return allows listeners to really be creative with their minds while listening, and that is easy to see from track to track. The fourth song on the album, “Something In My Brain,” breaks away from the repetitive theme of darkness to offer a more charged-up, almost angry, sound. However, the feel of the entire album is very atmospheric and could easily be interpreted in several ways by each listener.
The album closes with the 14-minute-long track “Handful of Ashes,” which really allows for the brain to wander. It captures an eerie sound that brings to mind images of darkness, fog and even just the idea of being alone. This album has the ability to speak to different listeners on different levels, making for a highly unique experience.