Antlers have always felt like the little band that could, an image based in no small part on their 2009 breakout Hospice, wherein the then-obscure band masterfully balanced the intimacy of a bedroom recording with a grandeur reflected both in its often huge sound and weighty subject matter. So what does a little band do now with a budget and expectations? The result is a bit of a surprise. Burst Apart, the band’s fourth album, sheds the Arcade Fire/Neutral Milk Hotel underpinnings that characterized Hospice for, well … exactly what is tough to define. From the undeniable ’80s groove of “French Exit,” the understated build on the gospel-tinged “Rolled Together,” to the all-out rocker (for the Antlers at least) of “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out,” versatility is the name of the game. If there were any consistent point of reference for this album, it would be Radiohead. The comparison is particularly solidified by singer Peter Silberman’s ubiquitous falsetto, which certainly has that hypnotic, soaring quality that Thom Yorke and crew deal in so well. This is an album of fluid execution, thrilling diversity, and fullness of sound. Antlers may not be so little anymore, but they’re all the better for it.
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