The Antlers: Burst Apart – review

(Transgressive Records)

Hospice, the critically acclaimed third album from Brooklyn's the Antlers – formerly just a solo project for Peter Silberman, but expanded to a trio – is a song suite about an emotionally abusive relationship set in a cancer ward. It's an exhausting, starkly direct listen that's unsurprisingly short on light and shade. For the follow-up, however, the band have expanded their sound, swaddling typically despondent lyrics in gorgeous electronic textures (Rolled Together, Tiptoe) and Portisheadesque beats, as on the glistening Parenthesis. At times it can be hard to work out what Silberman is singing, his strangely soothing falsetto undulating with emotion, but any hint that they might have lightened up is banished by the song titles alone: the opening I Don't Want Love, the anxious Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out and the almost darkly comic Putting the Dog to Sleep. In fact, the latter is the only real misstep – its overwrought balladry is something the Walkmen do far better – on an album that creeps by slowly, enticing you in and keeping you fixated for 40 minutes.

Contributor

Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

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