Antigama – Warning
Antigama are grindcore’s most underrated band. The genre is filled with bands even enthusiasts couldn’t tell apart in a blind taste test, but Antigama are instantly recognizable. Their chords are skewed, their drummer sounds like the soundtrack to Scooby Doo, and they drop jazz interludes for the hell of it. All this fits within the genre’s requisite micro-songs. Antigama bludgeon as much as their peers; their tools are just weirder.
Resonance was phenomenal, one of my favorite records of 2007 (review here). Warning (Relapse, 2009) is even better. It’s grittier and wirier. Krzysztof Bentkowski’s toms are again in full plumage – dig the whimsical accents in “Heartbeat”! The syncopations in “You Have the Right to Remain Violent” are deadly. An avant-jazz interlude and a dark ambient track are oddballs even in this sea of strangeness. They’re tucked at the end, though, and by then they somehow make sense.
Concise lyrics set out urban dystopia: “Follow me / Infiltrate / We’ve lost connection / Follow me”; “Serpent / Clock / City.” Appropriately, Orion Landau’s artwork portrays faceless clones in rectilinear structures. The paper is matte, and the presentation is stark. Unlike, say, ASRA or Defeatist, whose grindcore comes from the belly of the beast, Antigama observe from above with a mercilessly clear eye.