The Antlers are entirely the work of one Peter Silberman, who plays guitar, drums, accordion, and various keyboards on this release. Originally put out as a free download, "In the Attic of the Universe" now sees official release on Fall Records. This melancholy album is probably best described as a concept EP. It is full of sweeping, orchestrated pop that will more than likely appeal to fans of the Arcade Fire and Neutral Milk Hotel. Ultimately, it's Silberman's energy, exuberance, and creativity that carry the day and make his music stand out in an overcrowded genre.
What's most impressive about the the Antlers is how much Silberman is able to do on his own. Many of the songs are extremely full and lushly arranged to the point that it is hard to believe that only one person could have done it. One big example of this is "The Universe is Going to Catch You," which explodes with loud guitars, keyboards, and what sounds like toy piano. What really makes the track stand out, however, is the instrumental lead-in of the previous track, "Shh!" This dreamy keyboard and guitar soundscape effectively sets the stage for the all-out bombast that follows. Another great track is the closer, "Stairs to the Attic." This song reprises some of the lyrics and melody from the opener, "In the Attic," to bring the album full circle. It begins only vocals and acoustic guitar, but eventually explodes into the full-band sound for a great finish.
However you may feel about indie pop at the moment, you have to give the Antlers an A for effort. Silberman's ambition is readily apparent on these tracks and, dare I say, a bit infectious. Really, it's simply fascinating to hear the range of music and emotion that are crammed into the eight songs on the album. In the end, it's hard not to appreciate (and enjoy) what the Antlers created. 8/10 -- Matt Blackall (15 April, 2008)