12 Desperate Straight Lines
By Ellen Eldridge
“Let’s start all over, go back to square one” is the line announcing the 12 Desperate Straight Lines release by Telekinesis. Michael Benjamin Lerner actually took the inspiration to buy a bass guitar from the heavy, fuzzy bass in Flin Flon’s A-OK and he used that inspiration to construct four more songs for the release when he returned from a trip to Berlin to find his band had abandoned him.
Hate, heartache, healing, and hope comprise thematic elements to these 12 tracks. The album title seems to eerily allude to drugs, suicide, or walking the edge of self-destruction, but the music conveys a better blend of rhythm and hollowed-out rock. Not in a bad way, but rather in a way which echoes like the track, “Patterns,” with its quiet yet shattered, haunted feeling which starts and ends inside of two and a half minutes.
The titles, including “Please Ask For Help” and “Car Crash,” also target the darker aspects of events in Lerner’s life. As with the debut, Telekinesis!, Lerner partnered with Chris Walla, but this time they they ignored all the “rules” and experimented with backwards-recorded drum beats and ‘impromptu dance parties.
“I’ve Got You” acts as one of the happier, more up-beat songs, followed by “Fever Chill” which draws in the audience with a soft intro exploding into drums and a constant driving rhythm broken only by verses guided by single keyboard notes, then chords. A dynamic effect occurs which makes “Fever Chill” stand out more against other tracks which don’t quite nail the same musicality.
The closing song connects with a sentiment many great artists, and manic-depressives, can relate to; “I’ve got to get it right, now,” repeats as the chorus and resonates over the bridge while listeners are left to question the rhythm to the words and whether or not a comma is needed before “now” to imply a different meaning to the album finale. Decide for yourself when Telekinesis play in your town.
Telekinesis play The Red Palace on March 12…
… and The EARL on March 14.