Reissued to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary. The Telescopes’ live shows were often a memorably ferocious affair; the primal scream of vocalist and founder Stephen Lawrie cutting through unsuspecting audiences like butter through a knife, aided and abetted by the two-guitar assault and taut rhythm section of his band. The Telescopes released this debut album, Taste, in 1989 on the now defunct What Goes On label. It was an unrefined bolt out of the blue. A sonic feast capable of transforming from visceral to tranquil in a matter of seconds.
Even now, listening to blissful opener ‘And Let Me Drift Away’ as it melts into the brutal ‘I Fall, She Screams’ sends shivers up the spine. There’s little respite for the rest of side one, ‘Oil Seed Rape’ thuds and groans, then ‘Violence’ follows suit. All scratchy guitars that sound as if they were designed primarily to bludgeon senses. ‘Threadbare’ then ‘The Perfect Needle’ – the only single taken off the album – bringing the first half to an uneasy close. The second side kicks off with ‘There Is No Floor’, an ode to Roky Erickson via My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Feed Me With Your Kiss’ that ultimately merits its mention alongside both. ‘Anticipating Nowhere’ is the sound of punk rock had it not jumped on the nostalgia gravy train instead, while the sinister ‘Please, Before You Go’ finds both Lawrie and Doran at their vocally harmonious finest. ‘Suffocation’ captures the ferocious demeanour of their live show while ‘Silent Water’ tells its own desolate tale of being buried at sea as a halo of pedal infused noise engulfs Lawrie’s vocals forthwith. Culminating in ‘Suicide’, the traditional ending to their live set at this juncture, its continuous loop only bringing the song to a conclusion at the listener’s command. Three decades have passed since its release yet Taste still sounds like nothing else created before or after.