From KCRW volunteer Sierra Drucker —
Michael Benjamin Lerner is the one-man-band known as Telekinesis. Based out of indie-rock haven Seattle, WA, it’s easy to hear that classic Seattle sound in his grunge-laden power pop anthems.
He’s back after a successful self-titled debut serving up another album chalk full of bouncy, catchy hooks arranged in tasty three minute sonic bites.
Just over 30 minutes long, 12 Desperate Straight Lines delivers twelve tales of angst, longing, and broken hearts wrapped in an almost brazen in-your-face fuzz box filled pop rock. Lerner glorifies his darkest moments, boldly throwing them into a wall of punchy beats and brash distortion, yielding a unique sense of cynicism that separates his sound from the indie rock masses.
Once again, he pairs up with Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla to record straight to analog tape, adding a vintage warmth and dimensionality to his sound.
Album highlights include the first single “Car Crash,” which feels like an updated version of Smashing Pumpkin’s alt rock classic, “1979.” Youth angst steeped in feel-good bubble-rock. Lerner also pulls a clever nod to Paul Simon in the song “50 Ways,” an ode to longing and lost love.
But my favorite tune has to be the uber-catchy “Gotta Get It Right Now,” which capitalizes on the frenzied race for success and happiness, a theme that is close to my heart.
Stream “Gotta Get it Right Now”
12 Desperate Straight Lines is out now on Merge Records and you can catch the band live THIS Thursday, February 24 at The Echo.