Having never been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, a) because I've never actually been to Cleveland and b) because I'm not quite reconciled to the idea that a hall of fame is congruous with rock and roll, and in fact might even be antithetical to it, I was wondering while listening to Dormarion, the new album from Telekinesis, if there is a special part of the rock and roll hall of fame devoted to those bands, who despite never achieving commercial success, nonetheless succeeded in influencing scores of bands themselves, either in terms of style such as Richard Hell inspiring the look of British punk via Malcolm McClaren's exportation or musically, such as bands obviously like the Velvet Underground or in this case, Big Star.
While there is nothing about Dormarion that is derivative of Big Star, there are certain songs that have at the least a melodic echo of them in the very best way. The first song "Power Lines" is a good example of this with a great vocal line that is Chiltonish in its evocative notes. I find the song pleasantly lingering in my mind far after listening to it. Equally "Lean On Me" feels like it finds a vocal and musical footing from the same deep well. "Symphony" could well be a grown up version of "Thirteen", a weathered revisiting of the relationship matured and reflective but restless. But this is not to say that Dormarion dwells in the shadow of its influences because there is a lot more to it, and there are few songwriters today who can equal Michael Benjamin Lerner.
Songs like "Dark To Light" and "Little Hill" add synth to the normal guitar-centric indie rock sound in a complimentary way, enhancing the songs with a wider sound. And this exploration of the roll of electronic sounds is taken even further in songs like "Ever True" and "Ghosts And Creatures" where synth and drum machine usurp the roll of guitar and drums in creating a melodic electronica than is not incongruous with the other guitar based songs on the album. And in the final song "You Take It Slowly" the two paths meet in a fitting culmination of the album, guitars pushed up against what sounds a fuzzed synth bass line, with a minimalist synth break in the middle of the song. Dormarion is at its essence and core a great album from the first to the last, which you will be glad to have on repeat so that like all vital art its end brings about its beginning again.
Dormarion by Telekinesis is out now from Merge Records.
A digital download was provided for review.