EP Review: Teleskopes – For The Living (Lost & Found Vol. 1)

For The Living (Lost & Found Vol. 1) is the new EP from Los Angeles, USA-based alterative rock trio Teleskopes. For the EP the band have delved into their archive and pulled together a collection of four tracks from their early career.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Thomas Hjorth

The first of the four tracks is Release Your Mind. A psychedelic trip, it features looping guitar riffs, driving percussion and expressive vocals. It draws from ’90s shoegaze and ’60s psychedelia but brings the influences into the twenty-first century. At over six minutes it’s a bit of a odyssey, but acts as a wonderful gatekeeper, transitioning the listener’s headspace from whatever they were thinking of before to the world of Teleskopes.

And that world begins in Hayling Island. An echoing soundscape, it has a tremendous sense of place, steeping in nautical imagery and the sense of a paradise with a sinister undertow. Sonically, I was a little reminded of Manic Street Preachers during their If You Tolerate This… years, particularly by the pleading vocals. The track builds to a frenetic climax as the tempo and ferocity of the playing increases.

Track three Amber brings the melancholy. It starts intimate and stripped back, letting the poetic lyrics take centre stage. As the first verse gives way to the first chorus, jangly guitars and drums take over. Things get a little operatic, a la early Muse and I could certainly see Teleskopes music similarly filling arenas and stadiums. It’s surprising just how British they sound, considering LA is about as far from the UK as you can get.

The EP closes with a very American topic though – the now defunct policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” that was one prevalent in the US military. Private Michael is a stomping, moody piece of political commentary, told through the personal.

For The Living is a wonderful collection of tracks and they act as a great introduction to the band for people coming to them fresh. There’s often a risk that releases of early-career material can sound a little rough around the edges but that’s not the case here. This EP shows that from the outset, Teleskopes had a good handle on their sound and weren’t afraid to push the sonic envelope.

You can check out For The Living (Lost & Found) below.