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The Telescopes - Hidden Fields

Burton's Telescopes have some how passed me by up until now (other than possibly being vaguely conflated with the Green Telescopes when no such connection in fact exists) but the press related to this new release (their eighth) consistently mentions the fact that the sound herein marks a return to their roots, or at least a turn back in that direction, so it seems like a good place to start discovering what they’re about.

Comprised of only five tracks things stay at the pretty ordinary level in terms of song length but there are no prizes for guessing that somewhere along the line for this to qualify as a full-blown album a lengthy number will need to show its face. Drone though is the order of the day so perception of length can be arbitrary as the listening experience unfolds.

Opening track 'You Know The Way' is a dark affair - vocal parts seemingly struggling their way through from an abyss to be barely audible beneath the thrashing guitars in the breaks between verses (you can't really call them choruses) and Stephen Lawrie going on about giving something away.

Drone's a style that for me requires more of a live setting to fully become involved in the experience so seeing the band at Rockaway Beach in Bognor in October is very likely to be a more immersive event than listening to Hidden Fields in one's living room. Resemblances to many acts of a similar bent are too easily encountered when playing the album (you can hardly just switch it on and leave it as background music) although that previously mentioned darkness, which surfaces again on third track 'In Every Sense', does carve out an element of uniqueness.

As promised the lengthy number of the album is final track 'The Living Things' which clocks in at just over 15 minutes. Whether it can manage to hold your attention for that long is debatable as, whilst it's pace is basically what you'd expect given the circumstances at the same time it's a bit of a plod with no hooks or frills rising up from the general morass to pique your interest now and again. Live, as posited above, the experience maybe be a lot different but on record it's too easy for your attention to drift away from.

Hidden Fields is available from amazon and iTunes.

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