Telegraphs - Across a Wire EP

Tim Miller 06/07/2007

Rating: 4/5

More than a year ago now, I penned a review of Brighton's Telegraphs; a somewhat glowing endorsement of their double A-side's catchy melodies and fierce rock foundations. Hopefully pleased with that reception, it falls upon me again to review their newly recorded selection of songs that make up the Across A Wire EP.

Telegraphs' formula was, and remains brilliantly simple: carefully-measured doses of aching dual vocals - lead singer Darcy Harrison underpinned at critical moments by featherweight harmonies from bassist Hattie Williams - driving choruses with hooks galore, and shimmering guitar lines doused in reverb smattered over everything. This recording painstakingly produces that sound to great effect, mixed with a loving touch and a smoothly delivered polish.

Opening song So Cold is as good as when I last raved about it, impassioned vocals echoed by a delicate guitar in a chorus that seeps into the deepest recesses of the brain, exploding out of brooding and murmuring beginnings. Telegraphs reproduce this pattern on all of the five tracks here, resounding rock choruses composed with pop sensibilities in mind that ignite from the elegant verses of hesitant guitar melodies and forlorn, wistful vocals. No Friends, No Enemies delivers stunningly, Harrison's vocals reaching various soaring peaks and desperate troughs, while an ever-present Strokes-esque guitar looms in the background, and Runner One sees Telegraphs let loose, throwing away all pretences of keeping their emotions in check, and ripping through a thumping, crashing rendition of their winning formula with a verse reminiscent of The Automatic's Monster (here, that's a good thing).

Notes From an Exit Station, by contrast, is the band stripped of their explosive surroundings a little, the atmospheric chorus in half-time proving to be one of the best on the EP. However, the song reverberates on towards six minutes, building to an emphatic crescendo but taking too long to climax. Ariel, part of 2006's double A-side, still borrows from Radiohead's Street Spirit in its verses, but a straight up, soaring chorus that laments the fate of the protagonist: “Ariel, don't take the knife/the knife wants more than blood from you”, aided as the song closes by intertwining vocals, ensures its place on the EP as another stalwart rocker.

It's a second vastly impressive offering, then, from Telegraphs. A host of catchy melodies among driven, forceful and energetic, if melancholic, rock tendencies, theirs is a sound that is all about the music. It can't be me alone that recognises the extent to which Telegraphs write perfectly balanced songs, and my praise for this EP is in part a call for everyone else to sit up and take notice, too.

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