Tuesday, 18 December 2012
New Artist Alert: The Antics
A New Jersey outfit that has performed at the Stone Pony?! No...it can't be... alas, The Antics are not offspring spawn from a one Jon Bon Jovi/Richie Sambora love affair, but they are in their own right taking over the NJ music scene with one eye on the rest of the world.
The Antics are a fourpiece post-punk/indie rock band who have grown up together jamming in garages and working at fame the hard way whilst laying the foundations to their very own career in music. The band take inspiration from rock-mainstays The Who, The Smiths, Joy Division, and The Doors and describe their sound as, "...a tasty dish of head-knocking beats with fuzzy guitar riffs, propulsive drums and infectious hooks." Well, with my appetite whetted, it's time to find out what all the fuss is about.
'Touch the Sky' kicks off album 'Running Faster' with a raw and steady feel, held together capably by the lead vocals. With a nod to the genre, the arrangements are simple and a little thin but this is what the indie sound is all about. I was a little unsure about the sudden fade-out at the end; coming in at just over two minutes I felt there were a lot more ideas that could have been explored without feeling like the song had to come to a sudden end but it segues into track two on the album easily.
'In the Night' is sitting pretty in the middle, holding fort at the halfway stage of the album. Led by the lead vocals, the guitar sound isn't dissimilar from 'Touch the Sky' but at least the lead guitar explores some lead-lines to develop the sound and maintain interest. The track breaks into these lead-lines at regular occurrences creating a much more musically-interesting arrangement. The chorus is low-impact but suits the style of the track as it grows in intensity, the lead vocals once again leading the charge, as the rhythm section holds everything down steadily whilst the lead guitar delves into solo territory. The sound is far more interesting and well-developed than previous tracks on the album but still has a little 'garageband' tinge to it all; this might be part of the charm of the band and the genre, and who am I to say what the NJ teens are screaming for these days, but I feel that the influences cited by the band all had a lot more to offer musically and I worry that The Antics don't penetrate deeply enough nor do they jump high enough on a middle-of-the-road, and very congested, musical spectrum.
Don't be swayed by my opinions; simplicity is effective and I urge you to make up your own mind. The Antics are attracting critical acclaim in the NJ area and are also donating a track to go towards relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, raising funds for the Red Cross.
You can check out The Antics for yourself on Facebook. Enjoy :)