Already Nothing, the new EP (and third album) by local noise-rock trio Telecine (Andrew Larson, Steven Teague, Jon McDuffie) is, actually, a lot of something. In under 30 minutes, the scopic project crashes and drifts through moods and vistas. It’s at once aggressive and aloof, tightly-coiled and unpinned, gritty and refined. The album, recorded in Haywood County and mastered by Larson and Teague, drops on Friday, Sept. 12.
Lead track “For Fair Starts at Denial” eases in on dusky chords and sustained notes. It’s a descent into Telecine’s signature sonic crush. The first punch of Larson’s vocal, matched by McDuffie’s drum kit, is poignant. But the overall effect of the song is like being rolled by a wave rather than battered by a fist. There’s a fluid grace to the metallic tones, the electric whine of feedback and the near-constant buzz of reverb.
“Autoimmunoid” is twitchy and charged. It’s a song with muscle, though its advance is more of a deliberation than a barrage. The beat, crisp above the fuzzy snarl of guitars, propels the song into its crests and the refrain, “How long will you chase the same words?”
“Wrong Actually” opens with 24 seconds of quiet whirr — a fan or a record left to spin long after the needle has reset itself — before the hushed and measured melody kicks in. Here, the sonic palette is cool and pretty enough to provide an interesting juxtaposition to the track’s more violent textures. That Telecine can move so easily between these opposing themes, so effortlessly stitching delicate dream-pop to brisk post-punk is a testament to the band’s considerable musicianship.
There’s a slowed softness to “Check the Footing First,” though here, the aching melody plays over chafing industrial background noise. It’s the score to a faded Super-8 of the Beach Boys performing in a steel mill — or at least the elements of that scenario. The sun-dappled atmospherics, the nostalgia-tinged resonance, the grinding turbulence.
The EP ends with “If No for the Waiting…Guns,” the track with the most dramatic build. Noise laces around a waltzing beat and a sort of ’60s pop-inspired melody. But the romantic longing inherent in the song’s tender notes — and Larson’s lithe vocal, which shines even in the grungiest moments — is blown out in ever-heavier layers of strings and percussion. And, like the shuddery release of a good ugly-cry, it’s completely satisfying.