Review Summary: With their self-titled debut, ANTEMASQUE have produced a perfectly acceptable rock record sans any character from their illustrious front men.
I hate thinking about ANTEMASQUE. I hate that it was borne of the disillusion of The Mars Volta. I hate that it isn’t exactly everything I wanted and more. And I especially hate that I can’t stop listening to it.
was always going to be a divisive train wreck. Cedric’s very public antics after TMV broke up saw to that. Yet somehow the reunion of Cedric and Omar (as rushed as it was) sounds surprisingly unsurprising. Nothing within these 10 songs is out of place or feels expressly forced. Drawing inspiration from the last decade and a half of their musical relationship, Antemasque
is a clean amalgam of The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In with a dash of De Facto.
The band’s self titled record is a blisteringly paced work of rock and roll. Sure there is some funk to be found, with “The Lurch” featuring some groovy break downs, but most of the record is a straight shot from beginning to end. What this really amounts to is Cedric taking the center staged. As was the case with The Mars Volta’s final album,Noctourniquet
, Omar has taken more of a subdued role. No indulgent wankery to be found. No psyche freak outs or jazz explosions either. It’s nice to hear the duo at their most basic, really. Hell, even the lyrics seem less cryptic and encoded. By the time the radio friendly “50,000 Kilowats” kicks in most people will bemoan the lacking character, but really it’s pretty damn fun.
sounds like Omar and Cedric letting loose, taking it easy, and having a good time. The record is enjoyable, bland and silly, but still a good time. You won’t hear the duo lean too heavily towards either side of their established sounds. Instead you’ll be treated to a very straight laced rocking collaboration between friends and frankly that’s just fine.