Teleman - Breakfast - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Teleman - Breakfast

by Steve Reynolds Rating:9 Release Date:2014-06-02

Pete and the Pirates had everything: loveable hooks, intelligent vocals, and catchy, rumbustious songs. They should have been huge but, unfortunately, they were too clever for most people who seem to lavish themselves over horrid landfill indie like Two Door Cinema Club and Kaiser Chiefs.  God knows, I’d be bloody depressed to be superseded by such inane, cripplingly dull guitar music as that. However out of darkness cometh light: three of The Pirates were reborn as Teleman and today it’s all about their debut, Breakfast.

The impression you get from Breakfast is that it’s a million miles from the sound of The Pirates.  There isn’t an immediate rush of guitars, no hop, skip or jump of a rhythm section, or bull-in-a-china-shop delivery. Instead, it’s much more cultured, restrained and sparse, with a steady trickle of simple synthesiser patterns complementing the subtle drums and Tommy Sanders‘ affable vocal. 

Opener ‘Cristina’ is an excellent example of their sound, droning synths and minimal percussion while Sanders takes the spotlight: “Cristina is so good/ she makes me go crosstown/ Lie down and let the music play/ Nothing in the way now”. ‘In Your Fur’ takes a calling card from skiffle with a stunning array of accompanying bleeps, dots and soaring background synths.

There is a feeling when you listen to such songs as ‘Steam Train Girl’ and recent single ’23 floors up’ that there is more viscosity behind the songs. Because they don’t feel the necessity to conform to the rage and bluster of a guitar band in 2014, it makes their sound both unique and more endearing. Bernard Butler produced Breakfast. He's added a few twinkling touches, but nothing which really alters what Teleman are trying to do here.

‘Lady Low’ is dreamy, even horizontal, covered with spasms of saxophone and Sanders eloquent spoken word. ‘Redhead Saturday’ breathes in a similar vein but expands ever so slightly with some rather terse breakup lyrics: “I won’t sit outside of your door/ The girl’s made of concrete and wants me dead/ She can go fuck herself for all I care”.

Closer ‘Travel Song’ has everything and practically stomps along in comparison to the preceding two tracks; it has foot tapping beats, uncomplicated arrangements, slick synths. About four minutes in it goes a bit quiet, then explodes into a tirade of stroppy guitar action and what I believe to be a totally different track, ‘I’m Not in Control’. Sanders does his best robotic Kraftwerk vocal. This is the closest you’ll get to Pete and the Pirates, but if that is what draws you to Teleman then you’ll be disappointed by the rest.  

However,if you want to hear a band making their own stamp, marking their territory and moving onto pastures new then Breakfast is for you. It has all the confident, embryonic steps of a band which deserves your love, and you should reciprocate by decadently lavishing yourself all over it too.

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