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The Telstar Sound Drone
Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles
Written by: BV on 18/03/2016 22:14:30
It’s hard to believe that it has been approximately three years since Telstar Sound Drone released their magnificent debut album ”Comedown”. Nonetheless, this is a cold, hard fact – which then makes it all the more exciting that their sophomore album, “Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles”, will finally see the light of day to mark the beginning of what seems like a fairly interesting release schedule for 2016 over at Bad Afro Records.
Opening with “Drugs Help”, Telstar Sound Drone kick off with one of the most obvious nods in the direction of the album title. Of course, drugs help when dealing with (or avoiding dealing with) everyday struggles, so the reference in and of itself is fairly humorous. Fortunately the track itself is not only worth a crooked smile or an understanding wink of the eye. It’s a fucking furious beast of a drone worthy of following up the monster of an album that preceded it. Spread out over just about six minutes, “Drugs Help” conjures up the signature mesmerizing drum work, a barrage of echo-drenched vocals and an array of different guitar sounds laced with tremolo effects, fuzz and, well, echo. “Something I Can’t Place” picks up the pace almost immediately after the last remnant of “Drugs Help” fades out, leading the way with a muscular sounding riff and vocals seemingly drenched in paranoia-driven vibes. It’s a powerful onslaught – one that you might fear is actually too powerful for the album as a whole to keep up with.
However, as we enter the repetitive noise-drone of “Dark Kashmir” it is fairly evident that this progression of cool tracks is particularly hard to stop. “Dark Kashmir” is a particularly interesting track to immerse yourself in for a number of reasons. One of those reasons stems from the press material accompanying the release which clearly stated that the album’s writing and recording process was made up of a 4-month period of isolation in their underground rehearsal space with work days sometimes going on for 12-15 hours at a time. Obviously such a process comes with a feeling attached to it, a sense of cabin fever if you will – a feeling or vibe that definitely characterizes and shapes the album as a whole, as you hear sounds unfold in ominous, almost claustrophobic soundscapes. There aren’t many high peaks or catchy choruses here – nor should you actively go looking for those, as these elements clearly aren’t where Telstar Sound Drone work at their best. No, the true strengths of Telstar Sound Drone can be found in drugged out drones like “Mad Seeds” that are driven by fluttering tremolo guitars, howling feedback, hypnotic rhythms and a general vibe reflecting a total loss of awareness regarding the flow of time and space.
In many ways “Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles” is a schizophrenic album which doesn’t sound like much of a departure from their previous album at first – yet as it unfolds, it sounds like something different altogether, whilst retaining the signature elements that are distinctly unique to the band. One could argue that “Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles” is the perfect accompanying album (or counterpart) to “Comedown” – one displaying a far noisier and, well, more eclectic version of Telstar Sound Drone whilst “Comedown” displays a slight hint of accessibility and some far more straightforward tracks. Three years might have passed, but this has been well worth the wait.
Download: Drugs Help, Something I Can’t Place, Mad Seeds, Lean Down on White
For the fans of: Spacemen 3, Amon Düül II, Dead Skeletons
Release date 18.03.2016
Bad Afro Records
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