Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The idea behind the contents of the latest Telekinesis album, "12 Desperate Straight Lines," as we see it, is that sometimes lines bent on wanting to curve and intersect, are cursed to remain parallel instead of crossing and getting all perpendicular and arguably happy. We see many instances, in the writings of lead singer Michael Benjamin Lerner, where those lines are just untangling themselves, or getting out of the messes that they threw themselves into before they knew what they were doing. They're knotted and tongue-tied and it's a challenge to loosen themselves from the tightness too simply. Others wanted to be so wrapped up with the other that the heartache comes from not being able to adjust to life as a straight, non-divergent line any longer. It's a rude awakening. There is an added crunch and spit to the songs on this album, compared with the songs on the group's debut full-length. There's been some serious living and losing done in the elapsed time and it's left some stung.
"Country Lane," is a song that sounds like it's been a road dawg, like it's had to endure nasty truck stop food too often, like it's felt the meat deplete from its ribs right before its very eyes. It's been pounded sleepless and it's carried on through the wee hours, dealing with the emotional baggage of being with someone else that they're pretty sure is the right one, though there are differences of opinion somewhere in the conversation. Neither of them could agree on the subject, so they're not together any longer. The guitars get twisting out of control, screwing themselves into the ground and the drums pound like storms. A retreat has happened and the heart of the song is now off the road and living down at the end of a lonely lane, where his memories eat at him like grasshoppers.
"50 Ways" is a song that's just as persistent in its tireless feasting on old thoughts that should be getting worked over and overcome. It's just that there's no helping it. Lerner sings, "I try to make plans with anyone else…" and he drifts into a thought, but it might as well just come out as a classic mumble and stare off into the trees. He sings, "I try to focus on anything else," and he continues again, probably with a tiny train of thought, but it again hits like a mumble. It could be anything. It's just shadows on the wall and you hear the spills that he's had to deal with. It's not nearly as pretty or as gushing about the state of love as the debut record. We're mostly glad it's come to this, even if he's not.
Telekinesis Debut Daytrotter Session
Telekinesis Official Site