Reviewing The Wages of War by Tellison was particularly difficult. It’s far easier to review something if it’s very bad or really good. When something is just OK it can be thorny. One of the main problems with Tellison is that they are too mainstream, and commercial to be indie yet seem to be pitched and marketed as an indie group.
This isn’t a bad album, in fact the songs are well arranged, the performances by all involved are competent, the biggest problem is it’s just OK. They have all the right chord changes and the drummer who likes a fill or two but there’s something a bit too normal and the path they’ve chosen is a tired, clichéd, well trodden one. It also sounds a bit dated to me.
To the music. On Rapture there’s an urge toward Snow Patrol heartfelt stadium rock. However Snow Patrol write with a far more dramatic narrative and are therefore capable of connecting with so many more people. In terms of the songs that slightly stood out, Collarbone and Horses were enjoyable and I liked Know Thy Foe but I felt like I was back in 1989 and grunge hadn’t happened. There’s so much earnestness on display when rock’n’roll should be about fun, about having a good time, it’s a party, let’s try and be Iggy or The Ramones. I think Tellison’s benchmark seems to be The Editors.
Overall, The Wages of War passed be my. If you like your rock close to bands like The Psychedelic Furs, Diesel Park West and Feeder you’ll love this. I’m sure there are loads of fans out there who are really into this type of thing, sadly I’m not one of them. I really hope they do well but I can’t see it.
Review by Charlie Brown