Tellison- The Wages of Fear- Album Review

This year has seen a large number of bands working their way into our hearts already, and I think I have found yet another band that is bursting with potential and about to sky rocket through this summer. Tellison, a four piece indie rock band from London, have been causing quite a stir this year with the release of their second studio album, The Wages of Fear. With their first album receiving steady praise, it was no surprise that their second offering was going to be fuelled with excitement to see where they stood. Luckily, they rose above expectations and have been championed by the likes of Rock Sound and Kerrang recently.

The Wages of Fear kicks off with ‘Get On’ which starts with a slow progression of chords on a piano. Eventually the track bursts into a glossy guitar riff and flows with a soft indie rock style throughout the song. Next is my personal favourite, ‘Say Silence (Heaven & Earth)’ which instantly kicks into front man, Henry Danowski’s powerful vocals, accompanied by soft indie guitar riffs.

I have not heard a band like Tellison in a while and their sound is quite unique, as a distinct hint of indie creeps into their songs. A rock fuelled chorus completes the analogy of their description of indie rock as it is obvious that these are the key elements to their sound. Further into the album, tracks ‘Know Thy Foe’ and ‘Collarbone’ show a more edgy side to their songs with more of a thumping rhythm, so you’re left stamping to your foot to the beat rather than feeling like you’re floating with the music.

‘Freud Links the Teeth and the Heart’ shows a softer side to the band through subtle guitar picking and tired sounding vocals accompanying striking piano chords. Anthemic group vocals and soft drumming carry the song nicely into ‘Horses’ which smashes back into the bands edgy indie rock vibes along with ‘Rapture’. ‘Tell It to Thebes’ has a haunting vibe to start as a stale intro maintains a steady feeling to this track. A thumping drum beat leads the song into a slightly rebellious chorus is led by the lyrics ‘I’m a cold young man, I don’t need anything’. Penultimate track ‘Letters From Pre-Med’ has an indie twist to start with a similar distinct vocal tone from the bands front man leading the track forward as a pop rock style chorus shows a more upbeat fashion following the morbid previous track.

What I like about this band is their ability to switch moods in their songs without leading the listener astray. I am able to listen to the melancholy outlook of ‘Tell It to The Thebes’ and then somehow jump into the upbeat outlook of ‘Letters from Pre-Med’ without feeling any sort of strange transition. ‘Vermont’ and ‘Edith’ maintain the pattern of upbeat indie rock but ‘My Wife’s Grave is in Paris’ brings a close to the album on a slower note with time to reflect on just how special this record is.

What can I say? Tellison have covered all the bases in this record. They have explored the softer sides of their sound as well as mixing emotions to make sure they don’t seem to optimistic, yet show that they are not stuck in their failures. They have moved on from their previous album without looking back and with a lot of exposure, a loyal fan base building after every show and the summer approaching, there is no doubt that there are big things ahead for this band. This could be the perfect indie rock album of the year.

Track Listing
1. Get On
2. Say Silence (Heaven & Earth)
3. Know Thy Foe
4. Collarbone
5. Freud Links the Teeth and the Heart
6. Horses
7. Rapture
8. Tell It to Thebes
9. Letters from Pre-Med
10. Vermont
11. Edith
12. My Wife’s Grave Is In Paris

Words by George Fullerton.

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