Album Of The Week: Antemasque

ante2014 has been a weird year and some of the music that has been released so far definitely exemplifies the theme. There have been unlikely and brilliant collaborations, incredibly unique and experimental albums and stuff that just snuck up on you. Then there’s an album that very well could be the rock record of the year and it hasn’t even been properly released yet, but it was streaming on the interwebs beginning in July until the early fall. Behold Antemasque, a new project from the dynamic duo of At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala. It doesn’t hurt that this musical jewel also has Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass and Dave Elitch on drums too (both members have previously collaborated with The Mars Volta in the past). The band’s sound harkens back to the punk influences of Rodriguez-Lopez and Bixler-Zavala while having a little more polish and a whole lot of power.

Recorded at The Boat in Silverlake, Calif., which was previously owned by legendary hip-hop producers The Dust Brothers and now it’s Flea’s rhythmic science lab, the album is clear and forceful. It at times can seem to be very psychedelic and at other times it’s a prog-punk riot fest. Antemasque seems to be the lovechild of Rodriguez-Lopez and Bixler-Zavala’s previous two bands; you have the raw angst of At The Drive-In combining with the complex structures of The Mars Volta to make a purely original essence. Each track hits you like a ton of bricks with unrelenting intensity.

First it’s people talking about the dangers of vaccines and now everyone wants a vaccine so they don’t get Ebola. It’s a crazy world we live in. To take a break from the chaos, ease your mind and enjoy the top tracks off of my Album Of The Week. It’ll cure your musical taste of any ailments, or something like that.

One song that I’ve been listening to a lot lately is “In The Lurch.” Flea’s bass combines with Rodriguez-Lopez’s guitar for an all out assault on your eardrums. When that breakdown comes in, you’ll be groovin’ to the fury. Energy is all over “I Got No Remorse;” Bixler-Zavala is singing like a madman and screaming at the top of his lungs from start to finish. The psychedelic tendencies are abundant on “People Forget.” The chorus is pretty catchy, too, but not in a terrible way so you won’t feel the need to have a lobotomy.

Antemasque’s debut should be hitting record store shelves and music download sites sometime in October, but no official date has been confirmed as of publication date. Antemasque will also be taking over the downstairs stage at The Middle East in Cambridge, Mass., on November  11 as part of their tour with Mexican punk duo Le Butcherettes. Will Flea and Elitch be joining Rodriguez-Lopez and Bixler-Zavala on stage that night? Well I’ll guess you’ll have to head to the show and find out. While you wait until the official release and for them to come to your friendly neighborhood music venue, rest assured that you’re gonna want to get your hands on it once it comes out.

Antemasque’s website: antemasque.com

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