Skip to main content

joe-goggins
16th November 2011

Live: The Antlers

A modest but devoted crowd greet Brooklyn band The Antlers.
Categories:
TLDR

14th November 2011

Sound Control

8/10

A gulf between critical acclaim and commercial success is hardly anything new – it’s something that dates back to the very origins of rock music – but it’s certainly neatly underlined tonight at Sound Control. The Antlers, who have this year received an incredibly positive response to their fourth record Burst Apart, have nevertheless failed to sell out a 500-capacity venue; all the more fortunate, then, are those who have turned up to witness an intimate performance from the Brooklyn band. They open with the new record’s curveball, ‘Parentheses’, all shimmering drums and abstract vocals, lulling the less-acquainted into a false sense of security; the rest of the set is an emotional maelstrom designed to snare even the most cynical of hearts.

The Antlers’ last LP, 2009’s Hospice, is a concept album based around the idea of terminal illness as a metaphor for a faltering relationship; evidently, this is not a group averse to tugging heavily on the heartstrings, and tonight’s Burst Apart-heavy setlist confirms it; the brutally-honest ‘French Exit’ – ‘every time we speak /you are spitting in my mouth’, and desolate ‘Hounds’ serving as prime examples. Special mention should go to the utterly gorgeous ‘Corsicana’ – all haunting guitars and yearning vocals, it’s as beautiful a song as I’ve heard all year, and the crowd stays commendably, perhaps obligatorily, silent throughout.

Wonderfully wistful set closer ‘Putting the Dog to Sleep’ spearheads the charge for an encore, and it’s provided obligatorily with Burst Apart standout ‘I Don’t Want Love’, and rounded off perfectly by Hospice’s ‘Epilogue’, a slow, searing reflection on ‘getting over’ a relationship. The thoroughly-deserved record sales and sold-out shows are yet to come; for now, The Antlers will have to make do with spending their evenings playing to utterly devoted crowds, however modest they might be.

The Antlers – Putting the Dog to Sleep

Joe Goggins

Joe Goggins

Music Editor.

More Coverage

Fat White Family’s Lias Saoudi is circling around the Post-Punk cul-de-sac

Now that Fat White family have returned with ‘Forgiveness Is Yours’, lead-singer Lias Saoudi has a lot more to say about post-punk, lyricism, and being a Londoner

Peter Bibby – Drama King: A tragic and unpredictable opus

Infusing the classic songwriting of Dylan and Springsteen with Australian wit and dive bar narratives, Peter Bibby’s latest album constantly surprises

Tenacious D live in Manchester: The metal bring the fire

Jack Black’s rock-comedy project Tenacious D stopped off in Manchester on their ‘Spicy Meatball’ tour, performing to 20,000 fans at the AO Arena

Sour Grapes Records’ ‘Meltchester’: Mancunion music community at its finest

Manchester’s own Sour Grapes Records brings Meltchester to town again at Projekts Skatepark