Album Review: The Antlers – Burst Apart

By on Monday, 13th June 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

There’s been somewhat of a revival of dream pop lately. The haunting music, the soaring vocals, the slow tempo drum beat, it’s almost the anti-indie. Gone away are the three chord thrashing of guitars and droning singing, now it’s time to get emotive. Today the Antlers are releasing their fourth album, ‘Burst Apart’, which is the second LP with the current line-up. Originally starting in 2006 as a solo effort from lead vocalist Peter Silberman, The Antlers are now a fully fledged indie rock trio with their hearts open wide.

‘Burst Apart’ is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed concept album ‘Hospice’. Despite the new album not telling a story (especially not one as dark as ‘Hospice’), there is still deep emotion to be found within. Opener ‘I Don’t Want Love’ showcases Silberman’s falsetto talent beautifully, with the high notes sounding as just as majestic as the low. Somewhat similar to Everything Everything‘s slower tracks, the Antler’s have mastered the art of minimal indie. Below, watch a live performance the band did of this song for Bowlegs at the Great Escape last month.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xQ_Qt-p7aU[/youtube]

Starting as they mean to go on, ‘Burst Apart’ is practically Dream Pop 101 – incorporating the soft yet powerful vocals of Silberman, with the simple percussion from Michael Lerner and the atmospheric keyboards of Darby Cicci. ‘Parentheses’ starts like the music from a horror film, its eerie keyboard and trumpet combo works brilliantly to create an ominous soundscape. As the song progresses more elements are introduced, including guitar that’s not too far removed from Muse.

Unlike many albums, the Antlers haven’t bundled the stronger songs together. Throughout the 11-track opus, there are a number of pit stops for you to stop whatever you’re doing and take in the music. ‘No Widows’ is at times comparable to Arcade Fire in the size of the sound created and the vocal harmonies. Built around a drum beat, vocals and keyboard, it’s impressive the sound the band are able to produce. Although the pace never changes, the emotion involved is evident. Silberman’s dulcet tones suck you into his world, it’s hard not to feel a response.

The later tracks in ‘Burst Apart’ are equally as important and powerful. ‘Hounds’ and ‘Corsicana’ work brilliantly side by side and create an almost hypnotic state for the listener. The “oooh”s in ‘Hounds’ will stick with you all day like a musical leech, but not as irritating. The stand-out track on the LP, though, belongs to ‘Corsicana’. The powerful and passionate music is driven forward by Silberman’s desire to stir emotion, his voice on this record soars high above the music and above all other indie singers. It’s satisfying to hear someone who isn’t practically talking with a guitar but is able to carry notes to such an astonishing degree.

‘Burst Apart’ is more than an exercise in displaying Silberman’s talent, but a project by three musicians to create a meaningful record and keeping it simple. The sounds created are at times so big it’s incredible to think the Antlers are only a trio. The raw power and emotion that can be heard and felt in every song is mind-blowing, it’s definitely an album to put on and listen to rather than have in the background. Just listen, it’s worth every second.

8.5/10

‘Burst Apart’ from the Antlers is available today from Transgressive Records. The New York band have a string of dates in the UK in November – details here.

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