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Altered Perception

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Although The Telescopes’ penchant for building enormous walls of guitar distortion over Stephen Lawrie’s hushed inflections garnered the band many British shoegazing tags during the early ‘90s, they actually began playing a type of noise-rock in the late ‘80s. Altered Perception is a 2004 compilation chronologically sequenced with standout recordings starting with 1989’s “The Perfect Needle” which sounds more inspired by the Velvet Underground’s love for illicit substances and fuzzy guitar drones. Similarly, “Sandness Pale” pulses with Suicide-influenced repetition and squealing feedback that has more in common with the Jesus and Mary Chain than anything cut by My Bloody Valentine. Sure, there’s some Kevin Shields-esque guitar magic happening on the cacophonous “Violence,” but Lawrie spits his lyrics out with the snot-nosed angst of Stooges-era Iggy Pop before the more melodic and kaleidoscopic “And Let Me Drift Away” found him singing in a hushed cool behind the kind of ‘60s-by-way-of-‘90s psychedelia associated with Spacemen 3 and Loop. Still, the blissed-out beauty of “All a Dreams” could be the closest that Telescopes ever came to proper shoegazing.


Formed: 1986 in Burton-upon-Trent, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Telescopes formed in Burton-upon-Trent, England, in 1986, starting off as a noise rock band, then becoming shoegazers, then dream poppers, later delving into electronics and exploring the avant-garde over a long, interesting career -- mostly spent out of the spotlight. Singer/guitarist Stephen Lawrie, guitarist/singer Jo Doran, lead guitarist David Fitzgerald, bassist Robert Brookes, and drummer Dominic Dillon comprised the original lineup, which in 1988 issued its first single, "Forever Close...
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Altered Perception, The Telescopes
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