Sep 11, 2015 Issue #54 - August/September 2015 - CHVRCHES
Telekinesis' Michael Benjamin Lerner pieced together their last record, Dormarion, with a vibrant mix of all the musical ideas that came before it. The result was a sonic collage of possibilities, whereas Ad Infinitum feels like an exploration of just one of many. Most of the punk rock energy and guitars are left behind for rich synths, and rhythm parts are almost exclusively limited to throbbing basslines and drum loops. Telekinesis' indie rock sensibilities are abandoned for an electronic opus.
While there's plenty of space in its backdrop, the melody is regularly delivered by sharp synth tones reminiscent of early MTV keytar pop. Some of Ad Infinitum is effectively cheesy in its retro adoration, but so warmly polished there's not much room for irony. Songs like "It's Not Yr Fault" push electronic instrumentation almost to their limits, where others like "Sylvia" and "Sleep In" are careful not to overstay their welcome. The former gets a few extra points for the bass-vocal unison at the bridge, a clear album highlight.
Of course, the two-part close "Ad Infinitum" is a transcendent work on its own. Part one elevates the record with a beautiful and simple instrumentation, while part two just rips at the heart. If Telekinesis weren't taking themselves seriously at the top of the album, they certainly are by the end.
On its own, Ad Infinitum is more than a solid album, marrying friendly and upbeat melodies with dark New Wave tones. It does focus in on a more coherent vibe than Dormarion, but misses some of the eccentricity. However, that focus ultimately serves it well, dropping in and out in just barely over 30 minutes, and maintaining its devotion to consistent themes. Ad Infinitum is perhaps Telekinesis' most experimental album to date, but it never gives up on the heartfelt soul that we've come to expect. (www.telekinesismusic.com)
Author rating: 7.5/10
Average reader rating: 6/10
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