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Friday, September 14, 2012

Did The Telescopes Release The Best Last Album of the 1980s?

Posted by on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 5:02 PM

The other day I was SO STOKED to finally find a real copy, not a reissue, of the English band, the Telescopes, first album, Taste. Until then I'd only ever had a "taped" copy. Ugh. When it was issued, late 1989, I looked for it, but I NEVER saw it on offer. Odd, since Taste was issued on the American label What Goes On, buuuuuut maybe the label sent most of the copies to the UK?! Maybe? I was in college in '89 and buying records like crazy, LOOKING for sweet jams like the Telescopes, but some small press runs/imports were hard to find.

Anyway, finding a copy of Taste got me to thinking about the '80s*... hmmmmm, Taste was recorded in June of 1989, and issued later that year, so it could, perhaps, be THE BEST LAST ALBUM OF THE '80s!!! Seriously...and 1989 was a good year for greatness; Pussy Galore's Dial 'M' For Motherfucker (April), the Melvins' Ozma (?????), and Nirvana's Bleach (June), were all issued that year. But, by date, Taste may cap the decade. Dig this track, "Violence."

Obviously the group was in the know; they nod to Jesus & Mary Chain, less J&MC 's Beach Boys affection, Spacemen 3, the Stooges, and early Sonic Youth dirges...but they were their own band, as this record testifies. Taste is a cracked wall of FUCK YOU noise that SOUNDS like what getting bludgeoned by NAPALM covered monkeys must feels like, the heaviness is unrelenting. Even today it has weight. Fuck, the album's sneer alone could challenge contemporary wanna-bes.

The rest of the Telescopes catalog, however is not as tough. Uh, it is often described as (ahem) "baggy." As they continued, they got hopeful for radio play and success, fathom. It's good, but very English. I'd guess then they were the shoegaze type, playing dreamy songs like High On Fire," rather than soundtracks to your nightmares like "I Fall, She Screams."

Anyone got another challenge?! Any other late '89 issued album that can stand up to Taste?! Check release date, tho, it's gotta be from last six months of 1989!!!!

*Looking back now and considering exactly HOW MUCH music happened during the '80s is a bit mind-boggling. While the then contemporary pop culture was full of shameless fucking lameness, the underground was full of FORWARD. In some regards the '80s might top the '60s for VOLUME of innovation, but then there were MORE poeple doing MORE things.


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Rad sounds dude! Wasn't hip
Posted by Todd Hamm on September 16, 2012 at 9:44 PM · Report this

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