Writing the dreaded second album is tricky enough business at the best of times, but when you lose your band, break up with your better half, end up with a wonky ear meaning you lose your sense of balance and you find yourself trying to top a record as instantly accessible as Telekinesis' self titled debut, you know you have a job on your hands. As 12 Desperate Straight Lines will attest to, Michael Benjamin Lerner is not afraid of hard work.

First port of call was finding a new band which was duly accomplished through the recruitment of Jason Narducy (Robert Pollard band, Bob Mould band) on bass and Cody Votolato (Jaguar Love, The Blood Brothers) on guitar.

Next up - start writing some songs again...

After holing himself up in a warehouse in Berlin and then decamping to Portland, he joined back up with Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) who again produces this record. Lerner soon found himself with a dozen tracks under his belt. Each of which packaged in it's own two and a half minutes of indie-pop goodness. In it's entirety 12 Desperate Straight Lines spans only 32 minutes, so as you may gather there's little or no room for fat. Every second and note counts for something.

So what was the outcome? Well, gone is much of the gently loved-up and sugar-sweet ditties that peppered the debut album. In their place we find a much heavier bass driven sound seasoned with it's fair share of anger, depression and heartache.

Despite the downbeat change in tone, with 12 Desperate Straight Lines Telekinesis have managed to retain the knack of delivering impeccably catchy indie pop tunes, if a somewhat noisier and darker affair than those crafted for the predecessor.

Take for example the poignant 'I Cannot Love You' which opens with a dirty and fuzzy Cure-esque bass line. This is coupled with some tragically downbeat lyrics depicting the fallout of a broken relationship. Then there's the excellent '50 Ways' whose buzzing guitar riff would sound at home on many another Seattle-ite record from circa '94. However just as we think we're in for some grunge, there's a swing in tempo and the track slides into a tender and raw outpouring of heartbreak and frustration associated with an omnipresent ex.

Whilst this is not exactly a Cee-Lo Green-esque effort, 12 Desperate Straight Lines is undoubtedly a 'Fuck You' of sorts delivered in Lerner's own unique and infectious manner.

Let's get this right though, it's not all doom and gloom. From the off we're hit with the glam-rock swagger of 'Gotta Get It Right Now', lead single 'Car Crash' has riffs too catchy not to be hummed along with and the buzzing guitars of stomp-along 'I Got You' is sure to dig you out of the doldrums of any relationship trauma.

Whilst it's not been an easy process for Lerner to get this second album out, he's done a stellar job. Indeed what he's managed to create is the slightly raw, hungover and fuzzy nemesis of his well pressed shiny pop debut. Definitely worth a listen.

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