Antelope apparently paid attention in high dchool math classes. Reflector, the first full-length album from the DC-based trio, is like their geometry lesson. Obtuse bass lines intersect with acute guitar clicks. They converge at the steady, unrelenting vertex the drums provide, yielding an enjoyable hypotenuse of stripped-down, melodic punk. It's the scalene triangle of modern music.
Geometric puns aside, Reflector is really just a low-key party that pulls you in with it's quirkiness. Through their brand of "meditative punk," along with the help of producer Ian MacKaye (Fugazi), Antelope have perfected the build up of a song. You'll sit through this entire record and wait for the climax, the pay-off, but you'll never get it. It's almost as if the pay-off is the build up.
With all three members coming from other projects (Supersystem and Vertebrates) each bring their own recognizable style to the album. It ranges from the rolling melodic bass lines of Bee Elvy ("Reflector" "Flower") to the underlying rage of guitarist Justin Moyer ("Dead Eye" "The Demon"). Then it hits on the straight up odd side of things when Mike Andre takes over bass/vocal duties ("Concentration" "Collective Dream"). Lyrically, each of the three have their own styles as well. Moyer concentrates on the more poetic, gloomy aesthetic, whereas Elvy tends to drift towards the positively abstract - see "Mirroring." As previously stated, Andre just makes a straight line for the strange and repetitive ("Wandering Ghost"). This noticeable difference throughout keeps the simplified album from sounding too much like a High School garage band.
With only two songs over three minutes long and a total run time of a mere twenty-five minutes, Reflector hits you quick and gets it over with. The good thing about it however, is that there's not really any filler. It's all straight lines and angles, no color or texture. It is definitely one to give a shot at though, maybe two so it can get under your skin a bit. The least that'll happen is you start relating music to math. But if your enjoyment of audible geometry is congruent with mine, then you'll find this one more than pleasing. If not, it'll be over soon. Reflector is out now on DC's Dischord Records.