Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Today: Antimony. Now, it would have seemed that Antimony had a lot going for them. They were 3/4 of the often-brilliant Circus Lupus (Seth Lorinczi, Arika Casebolt and Chris Hamley); their record, Phantom Itch, was produced by J. Robbins from Jawbox and mixed by Dischord's own Ian MacKaye and all in all it's not a bad record. The guitar and bass get to be louder and more in focus than they are in Circus Lupus, and it turns out they have a lot to say. There are vocals here, but they seem almost superfluous, calibrated not to interfere with what the instruments are doing. Antimony, released from Chris Thomson’s plodding vocal style, created songs that are more driving and busy and joyfully complicated. There's an element of chaos here: You're not sure if it’s all going to come off, but against all odds, it somehow does.
What's working against Antimony? The band was already broken up when the record came out. I think you call that a “DC special.” I don't know if these songs were ever played live outside of a rehearsal space or recording studio. They were conceived, labored over, detailed and polished, only to be abandoned by their owners, destined never to be played again. (I guarantee you there will be no Antimony reunion). Antimony was the aftershock or maybe the death throes of Circus Lupus. An aberration. A rumor. They burned briefly and dimly but loudly. That's right. They burned loudly. It’s as if it was time for Circus Lupus to break up and these three reasoned, “Wait, we have one more thing to say on the subject. What could we do if there were no constraints? If we let ourselves go? If we ignored those voices from without and within that say to us, ‘That is too fucking busy’”?
So. Once more with feeling and busy as fuck.