Antarctigo Vespucci
Love in the Time of E​-​Mail


4.5
superb

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
October 27th, 2018 | 109 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Love isn’t dead, and neither is pop-punk.

Why did I crumble at the thought of you last night?

I can still remember the feeling in my chest the first time I had my heart stomped into a million pieces. I was seventeen, and a classmate that I’d been gradually trying to win over for two years finally decided to “let me down easy.” Of course that saying is a total farce, because unrequited love is one of the most devastating experiences that a person can suffer through. I mean you build up this world in your head, filled with genuine hope and irreplaceable memories. Like skipping class on a Friday in late May to drive to the ocean, just the two of you, blasting Ocean Avenue the whole way and screaming your lungs out to those huge summery choruses. Or like the time that she got into a horrible fight with her parents, and the two of you just drove around until 4 a.m. talking about life until you found yourself parked in the middle of nowhere and listening to Futures, trying in vain to keep the sun from rising. The problem with these kinds of memories is that you begin to romanticize each one, even if it was never intended that way. Perhaps your friends even try to warn you, but the uncertainty of how she feels only adds to the drama and intrigue. It’s an intoxicating blend of emotions, and when all of it is suddenly pulled out from beneath your feet, it’s an excruciating kind of pain – I’d argue even worse than an actual break-up.

You haven’t seen me in a long time
But I still walk along the beach at night

By now, all of this was nearly half of my life ago. I’m thirty one years old, happily married, working full-time, taking care of a house, and I’m about to become a father. But despite having an entirely fulfilling life, it still feels like a knife is being twisted in my chest when I relive that very first heartbreak. You can forget conversations, faces, even names – but how someone made you feel is something that never truly fades away. For example, I can’t listen to pop-punk without being at least a little reminder of her, because it was something we both loved and that we shared together daily. I don’t have much faith in the genre anymore though -- the dirty not-really-a-secret about pop-punk is that it’s a cheap, flimsy excuse for music, which is something I didn’t know in high school but that I quickly came to realize later on. The vocals are often nasal and pitchy, desperately trying to be rescued by an over-the-top chorus that waxes poetic about unrequited love. It’s cliché-ridden, angst soaked drama. No wonder it was so easy for an entire generation of teenagers to relate to.

I wanted to see you, to see if I still wanted to see you

Just like your first heartbreak, though, music has a remarkably strong nostalgic pull. I don’t actively seek out new up-and-coming pop-punk acts (partially because I don’t care, and partially because they barely exist in 2018), but Antarctigo Vespucci is a project that immediately made my ears perk. The super duo consisting of Chris Farren (Fake Problems) and Jeff Rosenstock (Bomb the Music Industry!) feels like a final crusade in the name of pop-punk. They espouse those enormous-sounding earworm choruses while effortlessly tying-in heart wrenching, confessional lyrics about relationships that are enough to make any former fan of the genre involuntarily swoon. It’s actually their second full-length LP following 2015’s Leavin' La Vida Loca, and the chemistry between Farren and Rosenstock is palpable. While the majority of the vocal duties are handled by Farren, when the two share the mic they manage to sound inspiringly confident, even when singing about isolation and depression. It simply feels like they were meant to be together in the studio / on stage, and their work as Antarctigo Vespucci sounds far more dynamic than anything that either artist has achieved on his own.

I promise that you'll want me around
All the stars in the sky start aligning, or something

Hot take alert: I never listened to Leavin' La Vida Loca. Like I said, I don’t pine for pop-punk at this stage in my life. However, I can confidently say that this release, Love in the Time of E-Mail, is one of the best and most emotionally affecting pop-punk records that I’ve ever heard in my life. Just about every verse is plainly stated but hits you in the gut. The entire album has the “why didn’t I ever write that?” effect, which I’ve always found to be evidence of superb lyricism – lines that tell the truth without having to dress them up. It’s obvious from the start, when Farren admits on ‘Voicemail’ in a slightly awkward, blush-inducing manner, “Is it weird that I've been thinking about you? I know the normal thing to do would be to talk to you…But I won't.” It’s that Weezer-styled geekiness, but for some reason I want to believe every word he sings – it simply feels more honest than Rivers Cuomo’s inflated sense of self-worth. They even have something of a romantic concept album going on, bookending that sentiment on the closing ‘E-Mail’: “But I'll keep staring, paralyzed or something…'Til I think of how to look away / Pretend I'm just some dumb, distracted weirdo, pretend I know someone standing behind you…”

I’m getting better in the worst way
Learning how to go on without you
When did it become so much easier?

More than anything, Antarctigo Vespucci is about bringing upbeat musical energy to downtrodden feelings. While Love in the Time of E-Mail goes through the ups and downs of love, there’s a greater focus on the latter. On ‘Do It Over’, Farren sings “I wish I didn’t give so much to anyone…I would never be sad again.” It’s these sentiments of total desolation and regret that dominate most of the album, even when Rosenstock ramps up the energy level to make it sound fun and inviting. This is probably the case on ‘White Noise’ even more than it is anywhere else on the album, bouncing atop energetic drum fills and hand claps while Farren laments, “I don’t want to say it out loud / ‘Cause if I do, then it’s real / If it’s real, then it hurts.” There are the occasional rays of sunlight that poke through the clouds though, such as on ‘So Vivid!’, a song awash in light reverb that feels like a cool, refreshing Spring breeze as Farren serenades, “Every time I close my eyes there you are / Some kind of hallucination / It used to be so vivid” – a testament to his ability to gradually overcome a daunting breakup.

All these nights we spend
I hope they’re always worth something

Love in the Time of E-Mail is a throwback pop-punk album in all the best ways. It’s a go-to breakup record, but it also works as an up-tempo, carefree summer jam. It packs in all the nostalgia of the pop-punk classics I grew up with, but it doesn’t sound like a retread at all. The chemistry between Rosentock and Farren brings every single word – and every musical idea – to life. It’s a depressing album at its core, but it never leaves you without a silver lining. This record should do for teenagers and young twenty-somethings what Ocean Avenue or blink-182’s self-titled did for me. Love in the Time of E-Mail is a companion; it’s that album you put in your car and never stop playing because it’s always applicable. As for an old man like me, I can spin this album and instantly have memories – both elating and shattering – rush back to me. I may not recall a lot of the individual songs and albums that defined my youth, but I’ll never forget how pop-punk made me feel as a teen. All I can say is that Love in the Time of E-Mail makes me feel that same away again – young, vulnerable…heartbroken. And there’s something really damn special about that.




Recent reviews by this author
John Nolan AbendigoMuse Simulation Theory
Imagine Dragons OriginsJames Newton Howard The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Julia Holter AviarymewithoutYou [Untitled]
user ratings (63)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
October 26th 2018


28373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Pretty cringey review, whatever.

Basically, listen to this album. It brings the feels if you have ever enjoyed pop-punk before.

Digging: Julia Holter - Aviary

MarsKid
October 26th 2018


7290 Comments


Nicely penned, my man. I wouldn't call it cringe-inducing in the slightest; it was a very honest and personal read. Sometimes that's the best way to understand/convey understanding of an album.

That being said, this sounds like some feelsy bullshit that I'll instantly fall in love with/5.0/cry to sleep to so I'm gonna have to listen I suppose

Digging: Napoleon - Epiphany

FreddieDelaney31
October 27th 2018


4897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gigantic Rosenstock fanboy, super excited to hear this

Hendoi
October 27th 2018


81 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Soulmate Stuff was better

Lucman
October 27th 2018


1271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is really good. It's like the music od Jeff Rosenstock with the vocals of The Tallest Man On Earth.

Digging: Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West

Papa Universe
October 27th 2018


18103 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't be fooled by Sowing's praise, everybody, this album's actually good.

Digging: Selvans - Faunalia

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 27th 2018


28373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Haha thanks Papa

hal1ax
October 27th 2018


11702 Comments


mmmmm i think i like my pop punk a little grittier than this. not horrible tho

NorwichScene
October 27th 2018


2698 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Old man at 31? WTF! I’m 37 next year and still feel pretty young.



I’m about to become a dad too, just under two weeks to go now! After 3 failed IVF’s it finally fucking happened naturally just when I gave up all hope

ChaoticVortex
October 27th 2018


687 Comments


Fantastic writing Sowing. It takes courage to be this honest and open, and the way you tie in your personal experiences with the themes of this album is great. Pop punk is usually not my thing but I might listen to this.

deathschool
October 27th 2018


22902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think this band has gotten better with every release so far. So, I hope this continues the trend

Papa Universe
October 27th 2018


18103 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You feel young at 37? I felt old the moment I finished school and that was decades ago.

deathschool
October 27th 2018


22902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think being in school (undergrad) at 26 makes me feel older than I actually am sometimes.

NorwichScene
October 27th 2018


2698 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes Papa, it’s a state of mind. I’ve had a shit time with arthritis since 22 too, life keeps dragging me down and I keep pushing back! I used to be really fit, playing footy twice a week etc then one day I woke up and couldn’t even walk (that was nearly 15 years ago now). I still struggle some days and may have been depressed, but I still feel young in mind for some reason.



Maybe when I have a kid soon it will all change, who knows..





FreddieDelaney31
October 27th 2018


4897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lmao papa got em

Papa Universe
October 27th 2018


18103 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't get anyone, bub, my bones hurt too much and I'm off my Lasix.

WatchItExplode
October 27th 2018


6004 Comments


This look pretty sweet but wasn't available on my preferred streaming service

Digging: Four Stroke Baron - Planet Silver Screen

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 27th 2018


28373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Try another streaming service. It's worth it I promise!

IcelandRevel
October 28th 2018


904 Comments


"and I’m about to become a father." Ayy, congrats man.

TumsFestival
October 28th 2018


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

first half of this thing is somethin else



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy