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Album Review: Tellison - The Wages Of Fear

4 years back, Tellison were gracing us with their debut album ‘Contact! Contact!’, an effort that was more of a collection of songs that spanned over the course of the prior years, with some tracks having been written when the band were only teenagers. The album was full of colourful songwriting, original ideas and brimming with heartfelt emotion. Now that the members have all made their way back from the academic studies to focus on the band, they’ve unleashed their second album ‘The Wages Of Fear’. Oh dear. Oh my. What an album.

It’s all soft piano chords before crashing cymbals open the salvo with ‘Get On’, one of the many tracks that will remind many an astute listener of The Get Up Kids and Motion City Soundtrack in some of their better days. It’s an energetic start and a charming pop-track to boot with lyrics that betray the need for some uncovering. ‘Say Silence (Heaven & Earth)’ and ‘Know Thy Force’ use similar tactics but never sound the same, each bearing their own distinctive flavour. Single ‘Collarbone’ is a blast of pop-goodness from beginning to end and will make for a great summer tune.

Everything following the opening four is a cocktail of variety. ‘Rapture’ and ‘Tell It To The Thebes’ are painted in graver tones but still consistently catchy with the latter hinting at some of Jimmy Eat World’s more thoughtful era while ‘Freud Links The Teeth And The Heart’ shows the band’s softer side with an endearing song of heartbreak. ‘Edith’ sounds like the organic extension of Motion City Soundtrack’s early albums and stubbornly refuses to stop being catchy.

Before we’ve even started considering possibly being bored, Tellison close a great album in style with slow-burner ‘My Wife’s Grave Is In Paris’, an emotional track that trades drama for soft earnestness. ‘The Wages Of Fear’ is very different from their debut album in that it is more consistently solid and unleashes track after track of carefully crafted indie-pop song-writing. In all fairness, it sounds like we’ve found the British match for all those that miss The Get Up Kids.


'The Wages Of Fear' by Tellison is released on June 13th through Naim Edge Records.

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Tellison Twitter, Facebook, and Bandcamp.

James Berclaz-Lewis

Alter The Press!