I’m starting to wade into the sea of unlistened-to vinyl sitting in one of the cubes in my Ikea Expedit record shelves, and while I want to play with my newest toys first, there are a lot of records that have been here for quite a few weeks patiently waiting their turns. So I kind of felt guilty about listening to one of my “newer” acquisitions, and instead reached into the stuff I got from Philly’s FDH Records a while back and came up with the self-titled LP by Calgary’s own Teledrome.
Teledrome was released in early 2014, but you’d be forgiven if you thought it was some post punky synth wave from 1982. I wasn’t aware that there was a sort of resurgence in this type of music, but I’m glad to hear it because I’m getting into this genre in a big way. From re-releases by Lou Champagne System and Gina X Performance to newer bands like MALLEVS and SGNLS (ironic that both use all capital letters their names…), there’s a lot of quality material out there. I wouldn’t even say that I totally missed it when it was new back in the day, because this type of music was certainly in rotation on MTV; but I wasn’t into it, so I certainly didn’t explore the genre deeply (and because, you know, I was a kid… the only thing I was exploring deeply was G.I. Joe). Fortunately there’s still plenty of time, and I have a record player.
The pacing on Teledrome is very punk rock, with on only one of the 10 songs clocking in at over two-and-a-half minutes, and that one is just a tad over three. I enjoyed the slightly dark, synthy side A, but it was side B that got my juices flowing, putting a heavy dose of “punk” into “post punk.” It’s like Devo spun on 45 rpms, like old school punk rock if you replaced the lead guitar with a synthesizer. “Antenna” and “Blood Drips” are full throttle assaults on your ears, while “Parallel” takes it musically in a more dark wave direction while maintaining most of the frenetic pace. Things calm down a bit with “Robot,” brining it more in line with side A, before closing it out with the seemingly slow “Golden Dawn.”
You can listen to the entire album free HERE, and I encourage you to sample both some of the earlier tracks as well as those numbered six to eight so you can get a feel for the difference in speed – it’s almost hard to believe these are from the same band, or at the very least were intended to be played at the same speed. If you like your early 80s style synth wave, Teledrome is for you.