ANTLERED MAN – GIFTES 1 AND 2
Released 5th March 2012 (Goo Grrrl Records)
Words: Tom Willmott
It seems every year begins with endless discussion in the music media about which artists are tipped to come out on top when the year’s out. The most tempting route is the inevitable comparison between past and present – for example, are Howler this year’s Strokes or Tribes the new-found Libertines? Thankfully, Antlered Man, an upcoming four piece from London, who have been criminally overlooked by several outlets, have created a sufficiently individual sound with their debut album “Giftes 1 and 2”, that many will be left floundering as to where to pigeon-hole them in today’s musical landscape.
For some, the delightfully demented vocals in “Surrounded By White Men” have resonances with Faith No More, while others will spot a range of Tool-esque progressive elements, particularly in the opener “Outrages 1 Ta 3”. Adding to the palette are some suitably heavy and almost ear-shattering moments in the five minutes of mayhem that can be found in “Platoono of Uno.” This track begs comparison with veteran alt metallers System Of A Down – quite a compliment as there really have been very few acts in recent years to rival those guys.
However, Antlered Man do not just embrace the heavier aspects of music, but use to their advantage more measured melancholic sounds, as in “Buddhist Soup” and “Schizo Tennis”. That’s a fairly short respite, though, before they plunge into the grungy tones of “Mr Runner-Up Teenage Bloomfield”, making this the defining point of the album. Typically, it closes with the hard- hitting “Misruly Roo”, another assault on the ear drums.
Maybe with better production, this could have been a stone cold classic, but that is just a minor issue. What recognition they receive for this remains to be seen, but it’s good to hear once in a while a record that signals authenticity, and stands out in a saturated market. Antlered Man should take credit for this, and who knows what they will deliver for us next time?