Parallel Seismic Conspiracies

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Telekinesis' first album for Merge, 2009’s self-titled affair, was catchy and slick-sounding indie rock that was reasonably good but suffered from over-production and an overall lack of excitement. Michael Benjamin Lerner's decision to work with Death Cab’s Chris Walla probably helped him in the short run, but making another record that lacked a spark would likely have ruined the band. Fortunately, on 2010’s transitional EP Parallel Seismic Conspiracies Lerner pretty much goes it alone, and the lack of polish and boost of ramshackle energy are refreshing. It’s telling that he covers Guided by Voices' “Game of Pricks,” because the short, punchy tunes he wrote for the EP sound very much like the work of a cleaned-up GBV. The five brief songs here are way more memorable than anything on the first album (especially the loping and sweetly sung “Dirty Thing”) and show that Lerner might be able to deliver something truly interesting on Telekinesis' second record if he stays on this path.

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