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The Antlers
Familiars - ANTI-
FILTER Grade: 79%

By Adam Valeiras on June 16, 2014

 

The Antlers

The Antlers’ career began at its fullest in 2009 with the release of Hospice. Few had heard of Peter Silberman, but with his recently acquired crew of drummer Michael Lerner and multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci, that somber, steady album quickly garnered acclaim as a valuable piece of musical narrative, relating the allegorical relationship between a hospice worker and his terminally ill patient, and as an outlier in modern rock music with its calm, open-hearted confidence. Now, five years later, Familiars blends the aforementioned with its strictly non-concept, syncopated predecessor Burst Apart to create something reflective and unique, cohesive yet diverse. Opener (and single) “Palace” immediately reintroduces the block poetry—Silberman’s signature narrative style. However, there is a structural diversion, lying somewhere between a series of singles and a linear, cohesive storyline. Rather, the songs—each, on average, about six minutes in length—form individual images of a larger collage or characterization: “Hotel” and “Surrender,” about a removal from fixations on the past; standout “Intruders,” about safety in isolation; “Director,” a voyeuristic recognition of these habits in others; and so on. Admittedly, these are ideas not groundbreaking except in their delivery, which does have a rare, sobering effect upon the listener—a trademark effect of The Antlers.

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