Album Review: This Other Kingdom – Telescopic

Dublin Neo-Psych band This Other Kingdomwill release their debut album ‘Telescopic’ in the UK on August 28th. The album was released in Ireland in April 2015 and charted in the top 10 on iTunes and also featured prominently in the Irish chart. The UK version is set for release on Good Vibrations Records and will be accompanied by a three date tour beginning with Mother’s Ruin, Bristol on Friday 28th August, The Garage, London on Saturday 29th August and The Castle Hotel, Manchester on Sunday 30th August.

The album opens with a real kick starter which announces the bands presence in magnificent style. ‘The Day, Your Day’ starts as it means to go in with throbbing guitar riffs, rhythmic drumming which steers the track and all this before the distinguished vocals of frontman Del Kerton kick in; this track is so persistent it leaves you breathless. It’s a great album opener and leaves with a distinct sense of wanting more. We are not disappointed when our ears are greeted by ‘Enthral’, although the intensity is markedly less, the bass playing of Fran Mulholland comes into its own and it a prominent feature. The track is overall less manic and more melodic than its predecessor but no less brilliant.

‘He Controls the Sea’ is a fan favourite when performed live and it’s not hard to see why. The vocals swoon and swirl, the guitars riffs of Declan Dunne pace along nicely as an almost undercurrent to the sound of the track and all four elements work in perfect harmony. The defining moment of the track comes in the chanted duel vocal section of the title, with the music working in the background this is really quite enchanting. ‘Betwixt’ offers something slightly different with an predominant synth element that has only been on the periphery so far, the lack of vocals show a different side to the band and showcases their skills.

‘Vacate the Horror’ is a track so dark it’s hard to come out the other side of it the same. Drumming from Chris Sweeney dominates the sound and gives off a nervous energy which draws you deeper into the sound. There is a lot going on here and it would be easy if executed poorly for it sound cluttered – it isn’t and it doesn’t. The intensity resonating is incredible, I had to listen to this a few times just to take it all in; I’d advise you do the same.

‘Plasticine Dream’ offers a beautiful array of vocal reverb, heavy and effected guitars and skilful drumming. Another enchanting track I’m hard pushed to find a criticism so far. And just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, along comes ‘Adelaide’ and leaves me stunned. There is a real upbeat tempo here and if any song on the album is the “dancey” one, this is it, it’s a real head turner.

‘FineLine’ is another step towards the dark side and the vocals shine through in earnest on this one. The depth of tone within Del’s voice is quite simply fantastic to listen to, many frontmen can’t sustain the intensity that’s exuded here. The change of tact mid track is a nice little endearment and the guitar section is enthralling, they hit all the right notes in this one. The album is rounded off with ‘Rewind // Refind’, a four and a half minute odyssey of crooning guitars, empowered drumming, probing basslines and harmonic vocals. Once again, all the elements are there and executed in sensational style.

It is clear from listening to this album that a lot of thought, care and attention has gone into it – quite simply, this is a fantastic album to listen to. The track placement is well thought out to ensure the entire album is enjoyable and there isn’t one song you’d want to skip. The band display their musical abilities and it’s clear they are very gifted musicians. I can only hope the UK version of the album does as well as the Irish counterpart, it certainly deserves attention.

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