Friday, June 15, 2007

Antelope



I'm a big proponent of the DC punk scene simply because it doesn't really get enough attention.

Whats that?
Bad Brains?
Dismemberment Plan?
Fugazi?

pish-posh, not enough attention.

There are so many good bands from DC that fly under the radar simply because people are butts and only care about what craaaaazy Ian Mackaye will do next. Seriously its unfortunate that the tastemakers have deemed Antelope to be unworthy of more than a mediocre rating. Oh well, so much for listening to Antelope, right? Not to feed the ol' blog-o-sphere versus Pitchfork flame here but I find the review of Reflector to be more of a review of the DC scene than a record review. I think its one of the best releases of early 2007 and simply writing it off as post-punk thats not "anthemic" is fucking retarded. but every man to his own opinion.

anyhoo. Antelope writes guitar and drum licks that pop and snap together like k-nex. Listening to an Antelope song sounds like looking at schematics, which, if you know anything about me at all, you'd know that schematics are my newest pleasure. I love how everything just makes sense regardless of whether I understand what that triangle and squiggle line represent.

Antelope - Mirroring

Mirroring, the fourth track on Reflector, comes in with a little plucky raindrop guitar lick. The drums kick in with an unexpected subtle punch. The second guitar winds in. Vocals come in. Its like watching a basket weave itself, and when the song is over you've got a nice little carry-all for picnics.

Antelope - The Demon

The Demon starts similarly. You've got to give Antelope credit for understanding their aesthetic, also for writing lyrics that are thankfully non-sensical. I mean if you're a DC connoisseur you'll have already made yourself well acquainted with Q And Not U's wordplay, or lack thereof. Its not about what they're saying (ok, you could try and make sense of it if you're stoned) its about rythm.

Check them out if you're in Japan cause they're touring you now. otherwise: buy the record here.

5 comments:

Alex said...

les savy fav isn't from dc, unless one member transplanted from there. [/nitpick] anyway, i'd like to get behind antelope, but the sad fact is that they just aren't that interesting. even rhythmically. when i saw them open for animal collective a couple years ago, the drummer had a shovel head in place of toms, so they have that going for them i suppose. but i'm finding very little to latch onto both then and now.

oh, one other nitpicking thing, blogs are as big tastemakers these days as pitchfork, so there isn't much of a flame war going on between the two (at least not one i'm aware of, although i could be wrong). in fact, pitchfork HAD to add and pay attention to the forkcast section, cos no one wants to read a 700-word review anymore, they just want to hear the song or watch the video.

Ryan said...

idk man i've seen antelope 3x now (dc, sf, dc) and will again at fort reno in a few weeks. i've never been underwhelmed, i'm always rapt from the first note to the last. unlike seemingly everyone else though, i really prefer the justin & mike songs to the bee elvy songs.
also, you should get the two EPs.

alex - i disagree on the not rhythmically interesting thing. sit down at a drum kit and try to play the beat for "shapes." and sure, they all three play uninteresting, repetitive lines, but try to play some of those guitar and bass lines on a keyboard w/ yr left and right hands. it's unnatural - yr brain won't wrap around the way those rhythms interlock. their whole is far greater than the sum of their parts. i think they do a really good job.

Alex said...

haha, any beat is going to seem interesting and difficult to me if i get behind a set. i understand the interlocking/intricacy or parts that add up to a more interesting whole argument and, hey, everybody wanks off a different way, so maybe this truly is a matter of taste's utter unaccountability?

i think my own position might be that i can't imagine wanting to listen to an entire cd of this because antelope doesn't build their groove so much as lock into it from 0:01 until 2:30. this is perhaps the same reason why full-length cds by minimal techno artists often suck. on the other hand, if someone put on these songs into the middle of a mix (again, like a minimal techno single), i think it would actually work really well. but without the peaks or construction that interesting rhythmic music tends to require, i think it runs the risk of flattening out. of course i don't want to come off all draconian about they way rhythm should function, just saying that there is a point, for me, where i could use a little more elaboration or flesh on the pattern they make. again, this would probably work excellently on a dj mix... transition between sade and gui boratto, or something.

Cap'n Guthrie said...

who said les savy fav? you're crazy Alex.

actually I have no idea why I said they were a DC band, I thought they were on De Soto for some reason, which doesn't even necessarily mean DC. I should have said Bad Brains. Oh wait! I just realized that I did say bad brains. Blogger invented time travel!

I saw antelope before El Guapo even broke up at a Q and Not U show, they sucked but it was still bare bones and its nice to have been able to see them so early, now I've got street cred.

as for the blogs vs pitchfork thing, it does seem to have dwindled a bit but when Idolater still has bitch fests about Pitchfork articles (http://idolator.com/tunes/reviews/pitchforks-latest-skewed-review-is-for-the-birds-268919.php) and Pitchfork has bitchfests about the blog-o-sphere (http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/39188-robbers-and-cowards) I'd say they're just opposite ends of the same medium.

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