Antlered Man: This Devil Is Them – album review

Antlered Man ‘This Devil Is Them’ (New Heavy Sounds)
CD/LP/DL
Released 21st October 2013

With most of the dates on their current tour still to run (see below), Louder Than War’s Keith Goldhanger reviews the new album by “ferociously heavy yet wonderfully harmonic” band Antlered Man.

Imagine if the world never got older and people never grew old and bands didn’t split up and that catchy beat combo we all used to love as teenagers, toddlers and grown-ups called the DEAD KENNEDY’s just got better and better and better and better …and by about the nineteenth better in say, about 2013 you were wondering what they sounded like… (My first draft mentioned Queen, Mercury, May and the “Seven Seas of Rye” but that was bordering on the preposterous and you’d probably have to be ninety years old to know what I was on about)

……Well (straightens jacket….) that’s where Antlered Man come in because the world does get older and we all get older and things do improve and as much as nostalgia is OK for some people there are others who want to shake the over 40’s from the shoulders downwards (especially those that say “thing’s ain’t what they used to be”) and scream at them that bands like Antlered Man exist and are as cool as anything else on this planet today and as cool as all those bands we used to practice our stagediving skills with back in the late 80’s ,early 90’s.

Put this next to those No Means No albums. Put this alongside those Crass albums. Play this to death, call up your mates, buy a couple of Antlered Man T-shirts and go to an Antlered Man gig and make these the best night out you’ve had for ages that you’ll still be talking about in twenty years’ time. Treat yourself to a night out watching this lot and experience those feelings you used to have when Faith No More or the Melvins or Fugazi first came to town and be fuckin’ proud that there are people in this country and this fuckin planet who are just as cool, just as brilliant and just as exciting as those bands that are responsible for all our missing teeth, dodgy knees and bank loans we still haven’t paid off since climbing up that speaker stack down the Hammersmith Clarendon during one of those catchy choruses that the Stupid’s used to sing to us. Yes folks. THAT EXCITING. And whilst you may be happy with your vinyl and Facebook photo’s that remind you of the good old days, please don’t forget that there’s stuff going on that’s equally as exciting today as it was when smoking fags in confined spaces was as natural as a Ramones T-shirt hanging from a hanger in Primark in 2013.

Opener ‘The Ballad Of Hamhock Fullsleeve’ starts this album like one of those old hard-core albums made by bands from Birmingham in the late 80’s and the first impression the listener gets is one of impending vocals that are about to go GGGGGGGGGGGGgggggggggggggggggggRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR !

But it doesn’t happen.

Antlered man’s main vocalist Damo Ezekiel Holmes sings.

Sings like Jello without actually sounding like him (there is a difference). There’s at least two people taking turns in singing on this album but it could be seven. ‘GDZ’, the second track flows from the opener like an intense Crass record and gets the feet tapping even faster and is something that’ll make you stop doing whatever you’re doing and head for the volume button…..and it just carries on and on and on and on like this. It gets more intense and the tunes get longer and louder and by the end, like all good music like this, the listener is flat out on the sofa, arms spread wide and totally out of breath staring at the ceiling going phew!

‘GDZ’ is currently available as a FREE download;

Antlered Man UK Tour:

  • Fri 01 Nov – Milton Keynes, The Craufurd Arms
  • Sat 02 Nov – Nottingham, Rock City
  • Mon 04 Nov – Southampton, Avendel House
  • Tue 05 Nov – Bristol, The Louisiana
  • Wed 06 Nov – Birmingham, The Flapper
  • Thu 07 Nov – Hull, Fruit
  • Fri 08 Nov – Norwich, Open Live
  • Sat 09 Nov – Leicester, Lock 42
  • Sun 10 Nov – Sheffield, Corporation

~

Antlered Man can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp.

All words by Keith Goldhanger. More work by Keith on Louder Than War can be found here. He’s also on SoundCloud here, Facebook here and tweets as @HideousWheeelInv.

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