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The Telepathic Butterflies | Introducing The Telepathic Butterflies (Rainbow Quartz)
Essentially the same album as 'Nine Songs' which I reviewed in the last issue, it appears I jumped the gun under the impression that the album was due for imminent release by Rainbow Quartz in its original form. Turns out I was wrong. The album (since unimaginatively retitled) has now been augmented to sixteen tracks from its original twelve (confused?).
Now, as before, the contents are just fine, although I'm not sure the cheap and garish redesign and so much material, some of it almost six years old, is necessarily the best shop window with which to introduce a new band. As per my previous review, in spite of their Francophone - Winnipeg origins, The Telepathic Butterflies curiously embody a quintessential Englishness to their neo-psychedelic lo-fi songcraft (hey, if they can repeat themselves, why can't I?). The new material is very good, less lo-fi than previously and more fleshed out than now that the band are a fully-fledged three-piece. But whilst they're not exactly short of ideas, they've yet to satisfactorily pull far enough away from their influences â?? I'd suggested bands like The Kinks, Syd Barrett and XTC in the past to more recent exponents like Cotton Mather and Guided By Voices â?? to make a stab at establishing a stronger identity of their own. As a more useful introduction I think they would have been better served by releasing something that was less reliant on such old material and that a more focused (i.e. shorter) collection might have made more of an impact. Admittedly most of the older material here as previously released on 'Nine Songs' has been given a bit of a sonic makeover by way of either a remix or having been remastered, but the differences are fairly superficial. At close to an hour of material to wade through overall, despite having its moments, I am afraid this set is a case of more is less.
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003