About Court In The Act.

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Saturday, 2 July 2011

REVIEW: The Antlers - Burst Apart [2011]

N.B. This is a guest post from HeySharpshooter.

Hospice changed my life. Before The Antlers released Hospice back in 2009, I refused to listen to anything with the phrase “dream pop” in it. But Hospice was a different record: it cut away the overwhelming pretentiousness and hipster non-sense that dominated this Pitchfork.com genre and left only the great things about pop music: the lack of irony and cynicism, the ambient dissonance, and the sincerity of the lyrics made it a golden pillar jutting out of a sea full of bullshit. This tiny epic was something different. Hyperbole? Perhaps, but ten minutes with the album will justify it.

So when I first heard Burst Apart was set to be released this year, I was giddy. A follow up to the first and only hipster band I like and will likely ever enjoy? I could not wait. I was even more giddy when I finally got my hands on it. My expectations were through the roof. I listened to it several times in a row.

I have never been more disappointed in my life. I could not believe this was even the same band that released Hospice. Gone was the Portishead, in was the Phil Collins synth drums. Out was the dynamic, thematic lyrics of Hospice, in was the shitty hipster non-sense. Compared to Hospice, this was complete shit. Compared to Hospice, this was nothing. Compared to Hospice, this was…

I then realized I needed to stop comparing Burst Apart to Hospice., and instead treat it as it’s own album. Once I did that, I saw that Burst Apart was in it’s own way a great record. Songs like “Houds,” a shifting synth dream that featured the best aspects of Hospice frontman’s Peter Silberman striking falsetto, and “Every Night My Teeth Fall Out,” a shockingly folksy and guitar heavy track, shine through. Sure, songs like “I Don’t Want Love” and “French Exit”(the two opening tracks) sound like bad Phil Collins worship, there are some great songs on this record. The fact this album opens so poorly doesn’t help it make a strong first impression, but the album ends much better than it starts.

Fans of Hospice will need to show a little more patience with Burst Apart: it is not the highly personal and heart wrenching journal entry that Hospice was. It is instead a professional musical work. It does not, nor is meant to, transcend its genre confinements, but instead an album meant to embrace them.

Score: 7.5/10

No download presently available.

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