Review Summary: L'Antietam puts together everything they had recorded up to the point of this records release.
The 10 new tracks are fantastic and show a willingness to expand,while making the quality of this record all over the map.L'Antietam
is a four-piece screamo band hailing from New Hampshire.
Their style of music is that of "proto" screamo,particularly tracks 10-27,which are the bands older material,recorded before the 10 new tracks that head up this compilation.
Family's first 10 tracks are new recordings, totaling around 20 minutes or so in length.
These 10 songs take L'Antietam in a slightly different direction than their older previous recordings featured on the rest of the disc.
These new tracks show the band experimenting with softer textures and more dynamic expressions.
The first full song, "Am:Jm" showcases exactly what I am talking about,full of dynamic percussion and sudden stops and starts,and the guitars spiral around each other, playing both up and downbeat melodies throughout the track. "Am:Jm" is an obvious highlight of the record,and if you need an example of the 10 tracks on this album and on their latest release "Arthur Carr", it is the song to download to decide if you like L'Antietam's particular brand of screamo.
Several of the 10 new tracks are more akin to older material, but are somehow even more frantic than earlier material, particularly the spazzy "Dear Good Man", a 2 minute and 47 second amalgam of tempo changes and sudden stops.
L'Antietam doesn't hesitate to move forward in expanding their sound,however.
The interludes "00:43" and "01:04", along with the adventurous "Outro (A Safe One)", show L'Antietam playing calm passages full of dreamy guitar and sometimes random sounds, such as the springs being struck in the background of "01:04".
The only problem with this record is tracks 10-27, which are by no means weak tracks, but compared to the far more mature and expanded sounds of the 10 new tracks, the last 40 minutes of the album can seem tedious at some points, sometimes dragging in their similarity.
I think L'Antietam knows that this compilation is not wholly enjoyable in one block, but is better listened to in the bursts that the songs appeared in originally.
At any rate, Family is one part extraordinary EP deserving of a 4.5, and another part lively but similar sounding proto-screamo deserving, in my mind, a 3.5.
Regardless, Family is a solid compilation that is extremely enjoyable, as long as you don't overdo it on the length of your listening.