Written by Ace Ubas, Photos by Marcello Ambriz
Brooklyn-native Peter Silberman (vocals/guitar) originally began The Antlers as a solo project. After recording his first two full-lengths by himself, he has since brought in Darby Cicci (keyboards/synths), Michael Lerner (drums), and Tim Mislock (bass/guitar) to help him expand his musical vision.
In 2009, The Antlers released one of the best albums of the year in Hospice. And with their latest effort, Burst Apart (via Frenchkiss Records), they may have crafted another album that is sure to make the criticsâ€™ top albums list. In order to showcase their new album, they are currently on a nationwide tour that included a stop at the Glass House in Pomona last Saturday night with Little Scream in tow.
The sole opener of the show was folk songstress Little Scream (real name Laurel Sprengelmeyer) was born in Iowa but moved to Montreal, where she made her impact in the local music scene there. She then met members from a couple of local acts such as Stars and Arcade Fire, and began collaborating together. When recording her debut album, she enlisted their help to play on a few tracks where she even got Aaron Dessner of The National to play guitar on a song. Itâ€™s safe to say that Little Scream definitely sits at the â€œcool kids tableâ€ in the indie circuit.
Speaking of her debut album, entitled The Golden Record (via Secretly Canadian Records), it seems to be living up to its name as numerous music blogs across the internet have been giving it positive reviews. It also served as the foundation of her 40 minute set.
â€œThe Heron and the Foxâ€ was heartwarming and nostalgic, with the subtle singing from Sprengelmeyer and the soft vocal melodies from the guitarist. â€œCannonsâ€ grabbed the crowdâ€™s attention with pounding drums, the shifts in tempo, and the jagged guitars. The highlight of the set came from the energy filled â€œRed Hunting Jacket.â€ With drums that made people bounce, distortion-filled guitars, and looping vocals, it was just eclectic and spontaneous. In between songs, Sprengelmeyer charmed the crowd with humorous banter and wit. Overall, she really reminded me of PJ Harvey in terms of vocal style and songwriting. Sheâ€™s definitely one to watch out for.
The Antlers then took the stage for their headlining set, much to the excitement of the crowd. They started things off with â€œParenthesesâ€ from the new album. Silbermanâ€™s vocals were haunting and brooding as he sang over the thick, groovy bass-lines. â€œKetteringâ€ from Hospice brought upon loud cheers from the crowd. This tension-builder of a song draped them in heavy reverb along with a chilling-yet-delicate piano melody.
On lead single â€œI Donâ€™t Want Love,â€ the combination of the soundscapes and glitchy synths created an ethereal, dream-like effect. The guitar-driven â€œEvery Night My Teeth Are Falling Outâ€ brought a more up-tempo, energetic sound to an otherwise melancholy set. Silberman showed just how high he can sing in his falsetto on â€œRolled Togetherâ€ as he hit his notes to perfection. The Antlers figured they would give the crowd a gift as they destroyed their eardrums with blistering guitars on the shoegazey set closer â€œPutting the Dog to Sleep.â€
Their encore set included crowd favorite â€œTwo,â€ which was performed in a slower, stripped-down manner, â€œWake,â€ and â€œCorsicana.â€
The strangest moment of the night came during the song â€œBearâ€ where a girl from out of nowhere emerged onto the stage and began dancing around Silberman for a couple of minutes, before being snatched away by security. After the song, he admitted that that has never occurred to them at a show before.
At the end of the night, the crowd walked away captivated and mesmerized as they experienced a set full of emotion, passion, and intensity. The Antlers definitely put on one hell of a show and they are a band that canâ€™t be missed live.