Artist: Antarctigo Vespucci
Album: I’m So Tethered
Release Date: Undisclosed
Label: Really Records
In April, Antarctigo Vespucci released Soulmate Stuff. I’m So Tethered is the follow-up to this début release also released on Really Records, although as of yet, has no fixed release date. Hosting only four songs this time around, Chris Farren and bandmate Jeff Rosenstock have enlisted the support of Brooklyn pop-punker Anika Pyle from Chumped and Drew Johnson to offer hand-claps and additional vocals.
If you caught our review or Soulmate Stuff earlier in the month you’ll be aware that Antarctigo Vespucci is a supergroup, formed of Chris Farren the front-man of Floridan punk band Fake Problems, and Jeff Rosenstock, a member of the music collective Bomb the Music Industry as well as having his own, newly found solo career. Together, they’re something of a bedroom experiment, but not in that kind. On their first EP they featured songs originating from the ska, punk, college-rock, and country-folk genres with the drum support of The Gaslight Anthem’s Benny Horowitz.
The first track You Don’t Scare Me! is another of those college-rock anthems. Playful guitar licks bounce around the track like a Feeder song, harmonising with the vocals and the “nah, nah, nah nah nah, nah’s”. Screaming “I don’t care if I hurt you, you don’t scare me any more.” There are definite elements of the punk that brought them together combined with juvenile sound of Chris Farren’s young voice. There are several opportunities for the college party sing-a-long, and in many ways present themselves as a band suited for students. Not always a bad thing. Overall, the track is lacking real artistic substance, but not every artist has to produce a classic work of art. Every now and then all the world needs is a mindless track just to kick back, bang their heads and scream their heads off. Antarctigo Vespucci are excellent in that field.
The second track I Drew You Once in Art Class, is far more suited to my tastes. It’s filled with very few chords, played as fast as they can, sloppy bass leading frenetic verses into band-shout choruses. The guitar licks are perfectly complementary to the verses. Instead of abrasive solos, or key changed shreds, the riffs here lead into each section perfectly and really add to the song rather than being an interesting add-on. For all the light-hearted aspect of this band, it’s most clear in this song that they still know the mechanics of writing a good song.
Up next is Mystery Pills, another of the more college-themed songs. Distorted guitar licks play in, sounding like a synth-keyboard. Farren sings: “I just keep saying it’s cool, I only do it with you, or if I’m trying to fall asleep. I’m only high on weekends, the 24 hour kids all say it’s cool. I’m so cool.” Sometimes, the non-serious approach to lyrics can be a fun relief from the serious music I tend to listen to, but at other times, I feel a little disappointed by its simplicity. Earlier in the review, I stated that the first two tracks, although lacked musical substance were musical relief, fun and mindless to enjoy at a college party. However, for me, the novelty wears off towards the latter half of the EP.
This is most true of the final track Come to Brazil. The track opens with a promising drum beat, almost dance-like, but offers the possibility of a rip-roaring punk track. However, what we get is singing, almost like talking and is not particularly tuneful or catchy: “I think she considers me an acquired taste.” With these sort of self-degrading lyrics and in the way they’re sung sounds almost like an emotionally unstable confessional. During the verses, the guys from Antarctigo Vespucci feature “Nah nah nah’s”, that sound as though they were peeled from a Paul Simon track, or straight from the Lion King soundtrack. This comes across as very out-of-place.
Overall, I’m So Tethered is an EP that at times can be light-hearted, a non-taxing listen with plenty of opportunities to have a sing-a-long at a party. However, if you’re looking for an all out quality EP, that you would be willing to show your folks when they ask you what you’re listening to at the moment, this is probably not the record for you. I enjoyed having the EP on in the background, but there’s very little about it that truly grips my attention.
If you would like to find out more about Antarctigo Vespucci, then you’ll unfortunately have to do some digging of your own, as unfortunately, the guys are not yet on any social media.