H&H // BREAKFAST – TELEMAN
Originally published on Hooting & Howling
Having just capped off their first UK headline tour and spent the past year on the road with the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Suede and Maxïmo Park, Teleman have already become a strong act in the latest emergence of incredible new bands. Having left everyone within reach of their live act spellbound by swirling synths and some intensely catchy singles, more than a few have been waiting in tough anticipation for their debut release and unsurprisingly, much like their pirates past life, the outfit – along with Bernard Butler on production duties- appear to have effortlessly lived up to it all. Introducing ‘Breakfast’.
Starting as they mean to go on, debut single ‘Cristina’ draws into the album with its softly minimalistic pop and a relentless rhythm, driving underneath the bittersweet vocals of Thomas Sanders and proving just enough to lull you into Teleman territory instantly.
The harder edge re-establishes itself with ‘In Your Fur’ and previous single, still one of the band’s effortless highlights, ‘Steam Train Girl’ both complete with jarring guitar lines that juxtapose Sanders’ infectious soaring melodies and sparkles of synth layered throughout that intensify the brilliantly unique sound the quartet have already built up, whilst the latter track descends into a pulsating breakdown quite so impressive you can’t help but envy the simplistic genius of it all.
’23 Floors Up’ proves itself to be somewhat of Teleman’s answer for an epic, carried by reverb drenched throbs of drums and lofty synthlines – once again elevated to a new level with Sanders’ vocals – and injecting subtle hints of funk within the sleek bassline at the hands of Pete Cattermoul, it makes for another sheer standout of the LP. Meanwhile, ‘Monday Morning’ switches back to the motorik kraut riffs the outfit utilise effortlessly and snakes into polished sounds not far from the realms of 80s synthpop classics with a tad more wistful lyricism.
From the off, ‘Skeleton Dance’ is another conspicuous standout with a sparse flying guitar riff seeming somewhat apt to the name, along with rhythmic drive and an ingeniously compelling chorus conjuring up a seemingly rare sense of sheer unadulterated joy in the outfit’s offerings so far, and one that makes all for the better at that. The joy appears shortlived though as ‘Mainline’ makes a return to the synthfilled skies with a woeful romanticism laid out by Sanders’ pertinent lyrics “standing on my tiptoes so I’ll be seen/everybody loves you it’s not just me” but delivered in a soundscape avoiding the sorts of painful clichés expected and adding to the collection of admirable tracks the LP swiftly stacks up.
Penultimately, ‘Lady Low’ and ‘Redhead Saturday’, detailing affairs behind saxes and shimmers of guitar and longing for the weekend alongside crashing drums and sweetly edged melodies, stand up as final points of the synthfueled musical sighs of the album before closer ‘Travel Song’ restores the unavoidably relentless rhythmic flair the outfit thrive on with chiming riffs and dulcet layers of melody, ending the album on an impressively high point, or so you think. That is until the hidden and nearly ignored altogether ‘Not In Control’ launches into full speed and establishes itself as probably one of the best tracks the outfit have produced so far, giving one last shimmer of thankful excellence.
Within 10 concise tracks, Teleman have managed to establish and perfect their own unique style standing somewhere between fluent synthpop and infectious stylings of krautrock, and if nothing else is to be admired, this fact is. However in the case of ‘Breakfast’, the outfit have brought more than a few impressive pieces of music along with them to make for an album of undeniable brilliance, and admired it shall be.