Anti-Vax is a duo from Milwaukee, WI comprised of Brian Pennington and Anthony Weber. The band released Pro-Vax so maybe there is some sort of political statement here between their name and album title but that's not the vibe I was getting . At any rate that thought quickly dissipated when I got to listen to their genre-bending music.
The band has some of the most wicked grooves since Primal Sream’s XTRMNTR. On that note they implement electronic elements and repetitive, hypnotic melodies that reminded me of the band Viet Cong or even at their most wild Oneohtrix Point Never. This was one of those releases where I couldn't wait to hear what was in store for me next.
They start with a deep cut entitled “Outdoor Child.” The organic drums run deep along with a driving bass line while other electronic elements from god knows where crash into your consciousness. As great as the instrumentation was it might be the vocals which are the most original. The way the words are sung, the harmonies and processing all felt inventive and unique.
The band is just getting started. Up next is “End of the Parallel Lines” which is just such a great groove. It creates tension, release and can get ugly while also being beautiful. Along with that are such crescendos which will split you in two.
They continue to be impressive with “Sucker Bet” which contains utterly unique vocal patterns along with driving elements. The drums are upfront in the mix while the vocals patterns have this militaristic quality to them.
The darkly psychedelic “Phyllis Kid Shitter” goes down a wormhole that leads you into blackhole of madness while “Passenger Seat” is a fuzzy overdriven cloud pillow. Don’t miss “A Settle Down Robot” which reminded me of this dude I know who settled and is unhappy and lives in the suburbs - lame. I’m just kidding. I hope you’re happy kiddo.
The duo push themselves and their sonic potential on “New Possibilities” which is the most experimental song. It’s more ambient and sort of sounds like quantum entanglement if that was a sound or process we could hear. I’m still not doing it justice. I suggest utilizing this song on a first date. The moment the breadsticks hit the table I want you to bust out your headphones, put them in your date’s ears and say “I need you to listen to this now” with absolute authority. Then just intensely stare at them for the duration of the song which is almost nine minutes long. Things will probably get a little awkward around the three-minute mark but just trust me on this one and let the song play in its entirety. If they leave afterwards they weren’t a good fit for you because they don’t have good taste in music but if they give you a kiss you will know you have found true love that will last forever. Highly recommended.
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