Telegram “Operator”

Telegram “Operator”

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We literally stumbled (drunkenly) upon Telegram at last year’s Secret Garden Party. At that late night gig, we were struck by a band playing great punk rock songs with a real sense of danger. Since that date, we have been eagerly awaiting this debut full release.

Just as they grabbed our attention immediately at that show, they do the same with opening number “Rule Number One”. It begins the album with a real sense of urgency. We have seen lots of references to a ‘post punk’ sound being made about this album. It is certainly true that songs like “Godiva’s Here” support that, and along with “Under The Night Time”, there is certainly a darker element to their sound.

However, there is also more of a pure rock n roll element to their sound as well. Numbers like “Follow” and “Inside Outside”, have a more throwaway and, let’s be honest, greater sense of fun than many bands who are also described as ‘post punk’.

Telegram also possess that quality of coming across like being a ‘gang’. You kind of know that there is an authenticity to them and they are genuine outsiders. “Taffy Come Home” may be an obvious example due to its title, but you do get the sense that even in the London centric ‘Indie’ scene they will never quite fit in. Tracks like “Regatta” have an intensity that many of the wannabees will never achieve.

They certainly appear to be a band full of contradictions. On the one hand “We’ve Got A Friend (Who Knows)” seems destined to be adored by the group’s hardcore fans but maybe require too much listening for the casual music fan. In contrast, “Have It Your Way” has a more throwaway feel and you could see it having far wider commercial appeal.

The overall sense you get from this album, is one of intensity and an element of darkness to the music. The raucousness of their live shows has not been lost, but is maybe more channelled into adding depth to the songs. This might not be an album to achieve mainstream success, but you never know. We are sure, however, that it will generate a following of devoted fans who will all love these songs with a passion.

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