The one word employed by all to describe The Antlers’ breakthrough 2009 concept record Hospice was ‘cathartic.’ Burst Apart carries on the tradition of heart rendering lyricism and soundscapes, focusing less on an interweaving narrative and more on densely textured songs that come together in a glorious culmination of synth, guitar and drums, bound together by the inescapable emotive depths of Peter Silberman’s voice.
Hospice haunts the instrumental corners of this record, a faded echo in Tiptoe, the down tempo slipperiness of Putting The Dog To Sleep, but elsewhere the trio are positively upbeat. French Exit pulses with hip-shaking percussion, piano creeps in from the back and it feels like it might be a happy song, before Silberman’s crushing words of ‘everytime we speak/you are screaming in my ear.’ The grunt comes one minute into Parentheses, when a downright sexy electric guitar riff comes steamrolling through Silberman’s falsetto.
The songs are still drenched in an irrefutable melancholia, whether speaking of relationships in demise or being distanced from loved ones on No Widows. If people found Hospice inexplicably laden with ambiguity, they won’t find any simple answers here. The rippling strums of Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out makes it an instantaneous highlight, but whether the song is speaking of a lustful congress or a couple ‘divided but not devoured’, is in the eye of the beholder.
Sonically challenging, lyrically mesmerising and vocally astounding, The Antlers have stepped it up a notch with a record that stays with you long after you’ve listened.