Fire Note Says: Telekinesis returns with a bigger sound on third long player Dormarion.
Album Review: Michael Benjamin Lerner’s Telekinesis project returns with its third record, Dormarion, and finds the group maturing its sound and confidently delivering an indie rock experience. You may remember that before Telekinesis’s 2011 sophomore effort, 12 Desperate Straight Lines, Lerner lost his bandmates and pushed forward on his own which drove his song-writing inward and fueled the album with heartache and anger. Well, time heals old wounds and still keeping this a one man show, Dormarion explodes outward for a new path and new muscular vibe for Telekinesis.
This selected avenue is actually not a super easy direction for Lerner as his soft “Ben Gibbard” type vocals really work overdrive to succeed on Dormarion as he clearly is more comfortable keeping things a bit more dialed down. The good news is that for the most part Lerner wins this battle. The first two Telekinesis records were produced by Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) so some of the credit here for his success I would say should go to new producer Jim Eno (Spoon). Eno’s experience as the drummer in Spoon aids Dormarion because the record has a very live sounding drum action that truly sets the tempo and volume of the tracks here. Combine this with some of the synth-pop designs and Telekinesis creates a depth that was not present on their earlier records. This dynamic also helps songs like “Ghosts And Creatures” and “Wires” become some of the best tracks Telekinesis have released to date. On other songs like “Little Hill” a forceful guitar riff is the glue that makes the track bind together and really keeps the listener wanting more.
Domarion is not a perfect record by any means as some of its slower tracks don’t quite have the same edge. They are not awful because Lerner has solid vocals but they also are not that memorable. Telekinesis really shines when the drums and synths are cranked up a notch. Lerner sounds completely relaxed delivering this upbeat attack and for balance in the future, I would recommend using the same gritty edge regardless of a song’s tempo. Dormarion will please fans and indie rock enthusiasts as it hits many core competencies for this audience. It is a record that will grow on you and given its compact 35 minutes, Telekinesis is a band that you should definitely go ahead and give a chance.
Key Tracks: “Ghosts And Creatures”, “Wires”, “Little Hill”
Artists With Similar Fire: Portastatic / Matthew Sweet / Spoon
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony