When Telekinesis’ debut hit the scene in the spring of 2009 it made nary a ripple in the indie-rock blog pond. Too close to power pop for a scene enamored with wispy folk music, it was also too grown up in its concerns to be of much interest to pop-punkers who at least still like their hooks hard and shiny.
Two years later I am happy to say that the band (well, not really -- on record Telekinesis is a one-man operation) has not succumbed to any real or imagined pressures to redefine their sound to suit popular tastes. What Michael Benjamin Lerner has done is effectively streamlined his songwriting and sonics. The hooks here are more immediate, the melodies stronger. There’s a run of 3 songs in the middle of this record (Car Cash/Palm of Your Hand/Got You) that is as ridiculously catchy as anything you’re likely to hear all year. Does this mean Merge is gonna do any better selling 12 Desperate Straight Lines than their eponymous debut? Probably not, but that’s what Grammy-award winning bands do - enable their labels to put our great little records like this one.