Review Summary: After the record ended I looked around for something else to listen to, and found myself simply wanting to hear Contact! Contact! all over again
Contact! Contact! opens as it hopes to go on; instantly anthemic, with beautiful melodies, epic harmonies and brilliantly emotive screams emerging from the feedback and static; 'Hanover Start Clapping' lets us know we are in for a ride and a half; the standard bearers of fight pop have arrived.
'Reader' reassures us of all that fight; banging home the rockier side of Tellison - distortion on guitars, dancier and more up tempo beats, breakdowns into just drums and bass, more lyrics we can (and will) sing along to, and sporadic clapping for the dedicated kids that remember when to do it.
'Gallery' (the band's debut single) begins far more sonically sparse than the first two tracks of the album, and introduces the more sensitive side of Tellison; with a seeming nostalgia within the lyrics and heartfelt 'oooh's resonating through an array of dry harmony, soft synth sounds and somewhat eerie rattling cowbells. Things do however move forward in steady progression to the guitar fuelled climatic-chant-zone that is; "You're in a gallery, you're in a gallery!" before a dramatically abrupt ending. It's clear to see why this track was chosen as a debut single; 'Gallery' showcases the many faces of this band; the full Komedia cast; Tellison successfully capture notions of drama, wonder, tragedy and joy on the rollercoaster ride that is not only 'Gallery' but indeed the album as a whole.
'Tender in the Night' and 'Amory' are probably the secret gems of the album; the guitar solo in the former has got to be the most traditionally rock'n'roll moment on Contact! Contact! - it makes me warm inside. Another track that makes me remember why I love music (there are a few here) is 'Fire', although it comes down a fairly abrupt notch from 'Tender in the Night', which, bear in mind, is my only real criticism of the album. Possibly the most delicate song on this release; gentle vocals and light brushes on the drums lead you through several minutes of longing, and really quite moving verses. But then, WHAM! A wave of sonorous bliss washes over you; in the same way bands like Sigur Ros lead a track to a magnificent grand finale. Tellison nail it.
'Ambulance' again follows the more pop orientated route into flowery synth parts and extremely sing-along-able lyrics, while 'Architects' slows everything down and delivers another tear-jerker, and is probably the finest track here. 'Henry Went to Paris' is, however, what will become the undisputed champion of Contact! Contact! as far as the masses are concerned; the second single from this debut crashes into existence and struts about triumphantly with more of those sporadic claps, wicked drum fills and a beepy break down that makes me salivate; "BOOP BOOP BOOP, BOOP-BOOP BOOP, BUH BOOP-BOOP BOOP!!" Some snippet of rewound sound, and then it smashes back into the slamming chorus one last time before 'Hospital' ends it all gently; wonderfully.
After the record ended I looked around for something else to listen to, and found myself simply wanting to hear Contact! Contact! all over again. I am unashamedly in love with this band and this album. You should listen to it as soon as possible.