The Antlers’ first connection with a larger audience, “Hospice” was a an album so haunting and moving that it has remained in high rotation on my iPod. A beautiful concept album about a dying cancer patient and the man who takes care of her made The Antlers a new name to be reckoned with, especially after some powerful live shows where they were able to get an entire crowd dead silent. One thing that came out of these shows and the news songs they played was that the new album could never be as dark as “Hospice”. “Burst Apart” sounds at first listen less dark, but hasn’t changed my perception of The Antlers in the least.
Ok, a title like ‘I Don’t Want Love’ doesn’t particularly sound upbeat. Peter Silberman’ falsetto voice is however much more clear and stretched and really shows the big steps they made into a much more professional band.
The keyboards are a little more 80ish and the drums slightly muffled but still the songs make you listen intensely so you cannot but get overwhelmed and get in a trance induced by the layers of keyboards, guitars and Silberman’s hovering high voice. A good example of this is the dubby ‘Parantheses’ or the hypnothic ‘Rolled Together’.
“Burst Apart” has less layers of sound than “Hospice”, it has less to hide. The final two songs are for Antlers standards quite clear. The overall quality of the songs remains high but never reaches the heights of “Hospice”. But this wasn’t to be suspected and cannot be a blemish on the Antler’s body of work, if anything they show they remain a quality indie band who will give us much more unique stuff.