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ANTIFAMILY – S/T (Difficult Fun)

Posted: January 19th, 2007, by Maxwell Williams

This record was reviewed favourably last month by my fellow Diskanteer pascalansell, but I wanted to have a go at it since I’ve been following Antifamily since the British-based Difficult Fun was a fledgling label with a few hand-printed CD-Rs and a dream. Plus, it’s not even out here and I had to go and beg DF to airmail me a copy. So, search out Monsieur pascalansell’s review and contrast.

Antifamily, to me, means big minimalist songs made from a variety of instruments, but clearly with the computer at the forefront of the music-building. And yet, not much remains the same on an Antifamily record throughout. To start, warm, globby synths trade cross-fade crossfire with higher pitched attack-synths. Then there are the more organic songs – for instance “The Shaft” features bouncy basses playing a funky kind of soccer with a razor sharp guitars. But then the very next song, “Same Old Same,” the synths take the driver’s seat. That variety is astounding, really. Rumble-pack punk-funk bass lines work it out like P.I.L. joining Can for a jam, but that can just as easily give way to a synthesized bass. Dub influences pop up here and there, as do their obvious debts to Kleenex and Delta5.

I could go on forever describing the different sounds found on this record, but it would make it seem uncohesive. It’s actually quite cohesive and it feels like Antifamily are hyper-aware of the sounds they are making. Always the songs are sung/shouted by the girls Melanie, Anja, Rachel, Agnese and Juliette, and that helps. Despite the likeliness five singers can seem just as confusing as all that I’ve described is going on, the production always seem to keep the girl’s voices somewhat similar sounding.

Some of the less impactful songs may have been rethought, as the record does tend to run a bit long (though some of the best stuff, like “I of the Law” where “death performs in the background,” come at the tail end of the record). But every family has it’s flaws and Antifamily is no different. Fantastic stuff.

-Maxwell Williams


Maxwell Williams

1 Response to ANTIFAMILY – S/T (Difficult Fun)

  1. pascalansell

    It was undoubtedly a good album despite it’s pretentious inclinations, I would have sent it to you if you wanted – my cousin got there first.

    Anyway, are you interested in reviewing a bundle of indie/singer-songwriter stuff? Simon sent me 5 cds of the stuff but I just can’t handle it. I can’t stand bloody indie. Any my email’s pascalansell@hotmail.com if you’d like to send me your address if you’re up for it.