Antemasque represents a blank canvas for the musical chemistry of Omar Rodrigues-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala. It’s the continuation of an enthusiastic partnership and the progression of a body of work, celebrated uniquely as an almost sedate passion.
This is a pure and simple rock album. You will stumble across flashes of modern-day jazz as the record unfolds – pleasing snippets and guitar tones add a refreshing sprinkling of diversity to an album which, frankly, roars with all the power of four Rolls-Royce engines, but for some reason fails to take off.
There is no lack of passion, or power for that matter, when it comes to Antemasque. Bixler-Zavala delivers throat busting vocals on the LP’s highlight tracks – surges of intensity pulsing from the likes of Providence and People Forget. Unfortunately, these surges are rather short-lived and the album reverts back to it’s previously monotone meander. To put it in basic terms, it’s all rather flat.
Perhaps a consequence of expectation when we realise that Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame plays bass on the album – he also let the band use his studio. And titles such as Ride Like the Devil’s Son and 50,000 Kilowatts inspire a certain excitement, but when all is said and done, what is a power ballad without the power?
What Antemasque does have is an unlimited supply of enthusiastic ambition, a soulful drive and a chemistry which illuminates – if not quite sparking on this occasion.
If eccentricity is your key, turn it up and scream along with those surges.
Antemasque is available right now via Nadie Sound.