In tough economic periods, music typically gets bizarre or punkily political. Meet Antlered Man who, by combining the bonkers and the rough, provide a spectacular soundtrack for hard times. While comparisons with System Of A Down are justified, this London four-piece are also channelling the spirit of Cardiacs.
Eastern flavoured opener Outrages 1 Ta 3 is heavy enough to prompt SOAD parallels, but Damo Ezekiel Holmes’ high-end vocals echo Tim Smith’s style, and Antlered Man’s oxymoronic combinations are evocative of Smith’s psych-pop collective. Can’t Beat Them, Try Solvents is a mix of punky choppiness and fairground sounds, while Buddhist Soup mixes whistling, flutes and metal riffing. On Platoono Of Uno, the band cleverly unite intelligence and ambition with tunes that are actually catchy.
There are weaker moments, notably Surrounded By White Men with its sub-Korn spoken intro, but overall this is music as delight. Don’t let the politics put you off – the wit saves Giftes 1&2 from teenaged sincerity.
By turns as heavy as an articulated truck and as weird as a funfair, Antlered Man are joyous, intense and loony.