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Telethon TGS

Telethon

The Great Spontanaen, A Tale Told In Five Acts

Halloween Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 
Do you ever worry the world is going to end thanks to some combination of hyper-caffeinated anxiety, extreme internet usage, and a constantly shifting definition of what a “good American” is? well regardless of whether you have Telethon have arrived with the sprawling new punk rock opera, The Grand Spontanean, heralding these fears and bringing a sense of weird, beautiful levity to all those who listen. The Grand Spontanean is a cosmic trip of punk rock filtered through straight up rock n’ roll, anthemic power pop and every other style in which they could meld their sound into that has resulted in a true blue five act rock opera about a self-centred, internet addicted twenty-something realizing the world’s about to end in a storm of noise and chaos.
 
ACT I: Bad Reputation
 
The Great Spontanean is not a regular punk rock release, this is a sprawling punk rock opera that is played out over five acts, The Signal is fine who-esque introduction that bleeds into the epic power pop of Apocalypse When and Succinct The Optimist , the latter of which contains a distinct waft of Weezer. Doctor and He’s Right bring a welcome touch of rock ‘n roll to The Great Optimist and the excellent The Paranoid Blur brings a manic ska influence as the story starts to unfold in earnest. Act I is brought to a close with the melancholy Tiny Rushes and the paranoid psychedelic surreality of The Page At The End Of The Internet.
 
ACT II: Cold Sweat
 
Punctuation! opens Act II with some frantic stripped down punk rock topped off with guitar riffs that invoke the ghost of Thin Lizzy, the epic Wrung slowly builds the pace and across it’s eight minutes. Flatpack brings a piano led element of baroque ‘n roll into The Grand Spontanean, whilst the theatrical A Martyr’s View From The View At The Marriott Marquis segues into a reprise of The Page At The End Of The Internet. When compared to Act I you get the distinct feeling that that Act II is building the narrative and allowing the story to expand, something that is an essential element of any good rock opera.
 
ACT III: Fight Or Fall
 
The dark opening chords and overture of Underture indicate we’re into the meat and bones of this tale, Temporarily kicks back into power pop rock territory before Stillwave initially brings us a touch of heartland rock, it also includes the impossible not to love lyric of ‘beating down the gates of Disneyland’, this just shy of ten minute epic ebbs and flows constantly whilst The Imporable New Sensations continues the country element that has pervaded Act III. Generator, Until The Ball Stops and My Second To Last Monday bring Act III to a close and keep the country feel, but they incorporates punk rhythms and a ska beat into it’s mix, which is not a combination I think I have encountered being blended together before. 
 
ACT IV:Running Back
 
Notches On The Scale opens Act IV with an almost evangelical feel before The Runner’s High brings us back firmly into a punkier moment. The Sudden Walk provides a brief narrative prior to On Companionship providing a brief nod to either Paul McCartney or James Bond, depending on your viewpoint, prior to an earnest build up of country influenced rock. A brief Weezer influenced number, The Weirdness Flows, precedes Act IV’s finale, Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve that builds up to the end of the world with a dark and chaotic blast that takes us into the final act, and towards the end of the world as we know it.
 
ACT V: Remembering
 
A Choice! reveals that the world did not stop spinning and gives you the option of how to end the album, if you let the album spin rather than choosing one of the trio of options you get Firebrand, the pessimistic option, a return to the power pop influenced rock that has characterised my favourite musical elements of this album. Thirty Seconds Of Silence, a track that does exactly what it says in the title punctuates the endings, and Fruitbat, the optimistic option for the end of The Great Spontanean, combines the country and heartland themes that have been a regular fixture of the album
 
Joining Telethon on the record is an impressive list of their friends and idols, including the likes of Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren, Franz Nicolay and Peter Hess of The World/Inferno Friendship Society and Roger Lima of Less Than Jake. Like Green Day‘s American Idiot and Fat Mike‘s Home Street Home before it, The Grand Spontanean is taking punk rock into the theatrical arena, I always get nervous when I hear the words concept album, the thought of the ghost of prog rock rearing it’s ugly head is not something I want to contemplate, thankfully on The Great Spontanean this is not something I have to worry about, yes this is self indulgent in places but what else would you expect from a ninety minute five act punk rock opera?
 
The greatest compliment you can pay to The Grand Spontanean is that the songs are equally at home being buried in a shuffle, although the album asks that the deity of your choice takes mercy on your weary soul if you choose this option, as they are played out as part of this grand punk rock opera. Telethon have unleashed a sprawling five act album that it’s very hard to fault, elements of punk rock sit alongside power pop, ska, psyche, country and a few hard rock flourishes, and pretty much everything else in between, to create and epic and truly original release. The Grand Spontanean is sprawling, ridiculous, eccentric and overblown, and if I’m honest I loved every minute of it.
 
The Great Spontanean can be pre-ordered here
 

Telethon To Release ‘The Grand Spontanean’ This Friday

Telethon TGSTelethon‘s 90 minute, 30 song, 5 act concept album, The Grand Spontanean, will be released this Friday, September 29 via Halloween Records, and features guest spots by Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren and members of The Hold Steady, Less Than Jake and TV On The Radio. The Grand Spontanean is a cosmic trip of punk rock filtered through straight up rock n’ roll, power pop and every other style in which they could meld their sound into. It resulted in a true blue rock opera about a self-centred, internet addicted twenty-something realizing the world’s about to end in a storm of noise and chaos. Digital pre-orders are now available, along with a limited edition CD box set with extensive liner notes and more, you can pre-order The Grand Spontanean here

You can view a quote from guitarist Kevin Tully and Telethon‘s tour dates below Read More…

Telethon Release Video For ‘Succinct, The Optimist’

Telethon TGSTelethon will release an ambitious new concept album titled The Grand Spontanean: A Tale Told In Five Acts, on September 29 via Halloween Records. The Grand Spontanean is a cosmic trip of punk rock, rock n’ roll, power pop and every other style in which they could meld their sound into. The result is a true blue rock opera about a self-centered, internet addicted twenty-something realizing the world’s about to end in a storm of noise and chaos. The sprawling, thirty track LP also features appearances by Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren and members of The Hold Steady and Less Than Jake. You can pre-order The Grand Spontanaen on CD and digital formats via Bandcamp here

The video for Succinct, The Optimist can be viewed below Read More…

Chris Farren Releases New Single

chris farren CDFake Problems frontman Chris Farren has premiered a new song titled “Be There 4 Ya.”  Farren released his last solo album, Can’t Die, which dropped back in September 2016 via SideOneDummy Records.

The track is available for purchase now. Upcoming tour dates are below.

Read More…

Telethon To Release ‘The Grand Spontanaen’ On September 29th

Telethon TGSTelethon will release an ambitious new concept album, The Grand Spontanean: A Tale Told In Five Acts, on September 29 via Halloween Records. The Grand Spontanean is a cosmic trip of punk rock filtered through straight up rock n’ roll, anthemic power pop and every other style in which they could meld their sound into. The result is a true blue rock opera about a self centred, internet addicted twenty something realizing the world’s about to end in a storm of noise and chaos. The sprawling thirty track LP features appearances by Laura Stevenson and Chris Farren as well as by members of The Hold Steady and Less Than Jake. Digital pre-orders will soon be available on Bandcamp, along with a ltd edition CD box set and you can stream the tracks On Conpanionship here and Punctuation! here. A Trailer for The Grand Spontanaen can viewed below Read More…

Kevin Devine And The Goddamn Band Announce Tour

Kevin Devine May 17 TourKevin Devine And The Goddamn Band have just announced a tour this August with The Dig on their way to Lollapalooza, he is also currently on a solo headlining tour with Adult Mom and Chris Farren. Kevin Devine is touring in support of his ninth studio album Instigator, which was released in October 2016.

The Punk Site review of Instigator can be found here

Instigator can be ordered via Procrastinate! Music Traitors here

You can view Kevin Devine‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Kevin Devine Announces Solo Acoustic Tour

Kevin Devine Acoustic TourKevin Devine has just announced a solo acoustic tour this spring, with Adult Mom on the east coast, Chris Farren on the west coast and a few dates with Frightened Rabbit, Kevin Devine will be touring in support of his 9th studio album Instigator, which was released in October 2016 via Procrastinate Music Traitors.

Instigator can be ordered physically here and streamed and purchased digitally here

The Punk Site review of Instigator can be found here

Tickets for the tour are available here and the tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

Chris Farren Streams New Album In Full

chris farren CDFake Problems frontman Chris Farren has premiered a full stream of his upcoming solo album.  Farren’s full length debut is titled Can’t Die and is set to drop on September 2, 2016 via SideOneDummy Records.

Listen to the album below.

Read More…

chris farren CD

Chris Farren

Can't Die

Side One Dummy Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Chris Farren has been described as DIY renaissance man, he is a prolific songwriter from Florida, as well as his solo material he is the frontman for the indie punk band Fake Problems, and he is half of the power pop duo Antarctigo Vespucci. For the past decade he has fronted Fake Problems, but over the past few years he’s cultivated another outlet for his creativity through his solo work, ceaseless touring and even an accidental viral success with a T-shirt design. We’ve established he has a hefty pedigree behind him, and that he probably has little free time, but what has he brought us on Can’t Die?

Can’t Die opens with the title track, which features gentle acoustic guitar and harmony vocals which build into a thoughtful and heartfelt refrain, this brief number serves as a perfect introduction to the album before things shift up a gear. Human Being is a gorgeous upbeat power pop number, that is one of the highlights of this release, featuring enthusiastic backing vocals and some sparkling lead guitar work. Brighter softens the pace, this is a song dedicated to how someone can improve your life when they are in your life, you could argue that this song is a metaphor for this album as Can’t Die has put a big smile on my face. To Insecurity And Beyond provides a brief interlude with quirky keyboards before we return to another perfectly pitched power pop number in Say U Want Me, this switches between an upbeat chorus with a infectious guitar riff that is delivered with a perfect indie flourish. Can’t Die continues to balance it’s influences and styles across it’s eleven tracks, from indie pop, through power pop and even the odd soulful and haunting number, to deliver an uplifting and near perfect slice of indie power pop that is irresistible.

This is a gorgeous uplifting album that can’t help but put a smile on your face, the mix of indie and power pop is perfectly balanced, and the production and mix on the album mirrors this. This is a heartfelt and varied album that manages to encompass the enthusiasm of power pop and indie with effortless grace. It’s an album that defies your expectations, if you are unfamiliar with Chris Farren‘s solo work then this is something you need to redress, and Can’t Die would be a damn fine place to start, as this is a record that makes the world a slightly better place when you put it on.

Can’t Die can be pre-ordered from Side One Dummy Records here

Chris Farren – Still Beating

chris farren CDFake Problems frontman Chris Farren has premiered a new song from his upcoming solo album.  The track is titled “Still Beating” and is set to appear on on his debut full length, Can’t Die, which is set to drop on September 2, 2016 via SideOneDummy Records.

Check out the song here courtesy Stereogum.

Tour: Rocky Votolato & Dave Hause (North America)

Rocky VotolatoSeattle based singer songwriter Rocky Votolato has announced a summer co-headlining tour with former Loved One’s frontman Dave Hause. He is out in support of his latest full length, Hospital Handshakes, released earlier this month via No Sleep Records. Additional support will come from Chris Farren of Florida punks Fake Problems.

Check out the full list of dates below.

Read More…

Video: Chris Farren – Where U Are

Fake Problems frontman Chris Farren has released a new music video.  The video features the song “Where U Are” from his recent solo EP of the same title, released earlier this month via Boyfriend Island.

Watch the computer generated video below.

Read More…

   

Chris Farren Offers Artist Bundle With SoundSupply to Benefit NAMI

Chris FarrenChris Farren has teamed up with SoundSupply to offer 5 of this albums for just $10, with all proceeds from every sale being donated to NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The deal runs is running for 12 days.  The albums include Like A Gift From God or WhateverDucks Fly Together SplitSoulmate Stuff, I’m So Tethered, and Real Ghosts Caught On Tape from his various bands and projects.

Here is what Chris explains why he chose NAMI:

“I’m so happy to be partnering up and supporting NAMI with this. I, along with many friends and loved ones, have had issues with depression and other mental struggles, and it’s great to know there is an organization to help. NAMI advocates for access to services, treatment, support and research, and has a strong commitment to raising awareness and build a community of hope for those in need.”

Check it out here.