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Sunday, February 15, 2009


Review by Matthew Dunehoo, contributor

The Antlers’ Hospice features artwork that is delicate but painfully red, and the title instills more dread than anything ever conjured by Cannibal Corpse. Supposedly the self-released album began as a narrative if not a memoir of Peter Silberman’s experiences with self-imposed isolation and discouragement experienced shortly after arriving in New York City, 2006. Here, Silberman is joined by a full band, as well as Brooklyn vocalist Sharon Van Etten.

There is an undeniable thread of sadness pervading Hospice. One envisions the still air found in rooms of care for those with terminal illness. The distant sounds here swell, become throbbing sensations, cede again. As with sickness, there is a sedentary nature to the record, it’s often parked and it festers, but with all the fascinating, hallucinatory imagery one may imagine the terminally ill (or deeply heartbroken) to encounter.

The two singles from the album are excellent pop songs. “Two” became a blog darling after its September 2008 release and “Bear” was released just last month. Neither one of these tunes contain the same degree of imminent fear and vulnerability that the majority of the album’s songs seem to. Siberman’s delivery is more rollicking, bolder, as demonstrated:

“Daddy was an asshole and he fucked you up, built the gears in your head, now he greases them up.”

Moments like these serve to remind that not all of hospice lives on cold linens; there is real dream sway here, blissed tunefulness. Though, for the most part the lyrics remain focused on physical and emotional confrontation and discomfort, conveyed via shimmering falsetto.

The Antlers will release Hospice, on March 3rd, 2009.

The Antlers - Bear (mp3)
The Antlers - Two (mp3)

CD release party at Union Hall, March 5th.

Sharon Van Etten


radioflyer said...

"The distant sounds here swell, become throbbing sensations, cede again." That's a perfect description. What a haunting album, I've had it on repeat for weeks. Can't wait for the release so everyone can hear it too. This is the most insightful review I've read of it so far.

zanimal said...

the album cover should be red:

tessa c said...

Did you catch them at both sets at Lollapalooza this year? If you weren't there for their more intimate smaller crowd performance at Lollapalooza 2010 you can catch it here: The Antlers made an appearance to jam with WLUW 88.7 FM Chicago and talked about the new album. We also have everything recorded for audio. Tune in to to catch it (you can call the request line at 773-508-9589 to do so).