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July 4, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Antlers, fully mature now, to play Neumos | Concert preview

By Joseph Sutton-Holcomb / Special to The Seattle Times

Peter Silberman, lead vocalist and primary lyricist for The Antlers, is a man with big ideas.

(Marc Lemoine)

(Marc Lemoine)

They are often too expansive to resolve themselves on a single track, which Silberman proved to the world on 2009’s “Hospice,” a concept album so adept and high-minded that it became the gold standard against which many fans and critics have measured all the Antlers’ subsequent releases, including this year’s “Familiars.”

Silberman, who appears at Neumos Wednesday with the band, continues to examine ideas of evolution and change and of dealing with the past’s baggage while inventing new versions of oneself. Sonically, however, the group has pushed beyond fuzzy, crashing desperation.

On “Hospice” the production was distorted and frantic. On the subsequent “Burst Apart,” it was rawboned and hip. On “Familiars” it feels — for the first time — fully composed and mature. The songs are long and languid, unfolding their themes and expanding upon them at an unhurried pace.
As a singer, Silberman steps away from his usual falsetto more than ever, delivering lyrics crisply, but in a variety of styles.

On the first track, “Palace,” airy chimes and restrained, flowery piano introduce a suite of tear-jerker horns and a throbbing bass drum. The lyrics of “Doppelgänger” are a boldfaced reference to the end of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks,” where the main character has his body taken over by a malicious spirit.

“Can you hear me when I’m trapped behind the mirror? / A doppelgänger roaring from my silent kind of furor,” Silberman sings.

Throughout the album, Silberman seems to curate an out-of-body experience for his listeners.
The song “Revisited” discusses a related topic: the dangers of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. At nearly eight minutes, it is also the album’s longest song, echoing the lyrical themes of stagnation and repetition.

This album might not be The Antlers edgiest, but nevertheless, it’s amazing to see all the lyrical and musical puzzle pieces fall perfectly into place.

The Antlers

8 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $18 advance (206-709-9467 or www.neumos.com).

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Concert Preview, Familiars, Neumos

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