Telekinesis' sophomore release 12 Desperate Straight Lines shows a deeper, moodier musical side of Michael Benjamin Lerner while maintaining the hooks and pop sensibility.
Driving, dirty Joy Division-esque bass is front and center on many of the album's tracks. The driving bass of "Please Ask for Help" gives Lerner plenty of room for a dreamy melody line swirling over it.
"50 Ways" features a thunderous chorus that could blow the doors off of an arena. In the midst of bass-heavy rock is a jaunty, piano pop version of the song "Dirty Thing," originally found in a rougher form on the EP Parallel Seismic Conspiracies.
"Country Lane" is a high point of the record, which chugs through with a tight bass and drum groove and a simple, yet perfect guitar line in the chorus.
Lerner finds time to get a big experimental towards the end of the album with the swirling, reverb soaked song "Patterns," which just feature his voice, a piano and loads of atmospheric sound.
12 Desperate Straight Lines is the sound of Lerner exploring new sounds and maturing as both a songwriter and musician. The arrangements are more complex yet don't lose the charm that makes his music so appealing.
12 Desperate Straight Lines is out today, February 15, via Merge Records. Telekinesis will play a sold out show at Local 506 with The Love Language on Sunday, March 13.