Album Review :
Waking Ashland "Telescopes"

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Band: Waking Ashland
Album: Telescopes
Label: Immortal Records
Review by: Brandon Jones
(**Originally posted in March 2006 as a review of the Japan version with the two acoustic versions of “Composure” songs “October Skies” and “I Am For You”. Those songs have been removed from this release but it’s still an excellent album nonetheless)

Track List:
1. Julian
2. Telescopes
3. Tortoise and the Hare
4. Open Doors
5. Flowers On a Wall
6. Under the Gun
7. Reseda

I am floored by the immaculate collection of midtempo melodic pop rock tunes. These are songs that not only define Waking Ashland as leaders in today’s music scene but also reinforces the notion that this band knows how to rock. These are somber yet uplifting melodic pop rock songs. Soothing, beautiful, and straight to the point. I really am impressed with this ep. First off, I can’t believe this band was able to go in the studio and record more songs just months after their debut full length dropped. Geniuses I tell you. This band is poised for stardom and stardom they surely deserve. The album starts off strong with the mid tempo rocker, Julian. A typical piano influenced Waking Ashland tune yet more textured and layered in sound. Telescopes follows in the same fashion though a bit more subdued. A good thing. The strongest track lyrically is “Tortoise and the Hare” where lead singer Jonathan wrestles with his Faith during the rush hour of a touring musician. “But I’m still blind in a field of weeds…” Open Doors follows up with what can either be taken at face value as a love song or much deeper as a statement of love for something much deeper. God maybe? That’s for you to decide. Flowers on a Wall soon follows in pop rock like direction complete with piano led harmonies and introspective word speak. I enjoy it but not as much as the the next track….”Under the Gun” hits you hard on the head with it’s bombastic harmonies and driving guitar leads. This song in my opinion is their strongest track and one that would be perfect as a lead off single. Radio friendly in every mention of the word. This is my personal favorite of the 9 songs on this album. “Reseda” flows in right from the last note of Under the Gun and smoothly leads you on a journey of pure rock bliss. Though these 7 new tracks are now finished and have been played out in the stereo, what a fitting way to end a great cd.

In closing, I was expecting more of the same from Waking Ashland with this fitting ep but what I found out was even further than the truth. What I’ve come to expect and what I’ve learned are two very different things and yet am frankly, pleased. Yeah I love this effort. I think it’s a perfect progression from “Composure” and an album that sets this band apart from the oversaturated crowd they’ve been lumped in with. This band deserves so much more and they deserve to stand hand in hand with the best bands in rock music today. I don’t mean amongst emo, screamo, indie rock, etc. bands, I mean shoulder to shoulder with the greatness of true rock and roll bands. Coldplay, U2, Counting Crows, Waking Ashland. Shoulder to shoulder with giants. It’s who they are and it’s where they belong. True greatness inspires.

Score: 10/10
Replay Value: As high as high can be. You’ll play it over and over again. What are you waiting for, buy this now.
Shirt Factor: Yeah, I own one!
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