Music December 28, 2011 By Thomas Beckwith

cover6 The Antlersantlers title1 The Antlers
Calling a new Antlers record “mournful” is a bit misleading, if only because it implies that a listener might expect something different. On the 2008 LP that made their name, Hospice, the band made regret their M.O., turning strings of haunting chimes and vocals of hewn crystal into slow-cookers worthy of a send-off. Since then, they’ve honed their aesthetic, taking steps to make their latest, Burst Apart, a cleaner album than its forebear. Spritelier tracks like “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out” and “French Exit” are leavened with a newfound optimism, the flipside of Hospice-era dirges like “Atrophy” and “Thirteen.” Uptick tempos and backing drum rolls lend a funk-laden snap to the bass lines, while the singer, Peter Silbermann, croons where he warbled in the past. None of these changes quite lift the album from its dominant mood of sorrow, but they do pepper the runtime with strategic moments of levity. You get the impression that whatever Silbermann’s lost, he knows he can win it back.
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