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Imagine a Desert Sessions album with Josh Homme and King Buzzo on guitar, Nick Oliveri on bass, Dave Grohl on drums and John Lydon (In PIL mode) singing his ass off behind the mic. That, my friends, is Antlered Man in a nutshell and Giftes 1&2 is what that Sessions disc would sound like, only better.

Now I bet a bunch of you are saying “Who the hell are Antlered Man?”. Have no fear, Popblerd is here to sort you out. Didn’t you see our video reviews for “Surrounded By White Men” or perhaps the one on “Platoono of Uno“? No? That’s alright, too, because now you have Giftes 1&2 which is much more than a gift. It’s a blessing.

“Outrages 1 ta 3” introduces you to the mad world of Antlered Man with an eerie guitar line followed by Sam Ray’s masterful bass. As you’ll hear throughout, the turning point on most of Antlered Man’s songs is when Oliver Parker makes his presence known on the drums and here is no different as he starts out quietly then goes for a full on tribal bombast. As far as opening songs go on debut albums, you’re not going to find one as compelling as “Outages 1 ta 3” on anything else this year. This song goes to so many places in just under six minutes than some whole albums do within an hour.

If possible, the second half of Giftes 1&2 is even more potent than the first. The whistle line in “Buddhist Soup” is sure to throw listeners for a loop but this song goes to places above anything that Antlered Man has shown us up ’til now with hints of some pop Modest Mouse thrown in for good measure. When the band kicks in behind the whistling it’s a veritable maelstrom of sound and it’s glorious! Did I mention that a flutist plays out the end of “Buddhist Soup”? No? Yeah, there’s a flutist, too.

“Mr. Runner-up Teenage Bloomfield” especially strengthens the second half with a flurry of saxes and guitars at the beginning until vocalist Damo Ezekiel-Holmes comes in amidst the cacophony and Parker slams the drums like a Grohl-ian Songs For The Deaf madman.

The penultimate chapter is “Balloons, Needles, Sunlight, & Evil” with a riff by guitarist Danny Fury that is more metal than anything on Giftes 1&2 yet it begins with a RHCP Frusciante line that is meant to lead you astray from the coming storm and then “Misruly Roo” rounds things out in an epic fashion and assures you that your purchase of Giftes 1&2 was money well spent.

Giftes 1&2 will be out on March 5th. Pre-order a copy for yourself right over here.

Grade: A

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