"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
This line features prominently in "Soundtrack", the opening track of Antillectual's fourth album. On the face of it, that one line might not seem that important but it's one that really got me thinking. As a youngster life is full of new experiences but as one progresses through time these tend to thin out as routine and familiarity become the norm. "Soundtrack" really does make me consider what my forty eight year old self is encountering that could be considered new and fortunately it doesn't leave me as depressed as I had thought it would as there are things I can point to as being 'new'. It might not be massively life changing events as even small things can enrich a person's life, so I guess the message behind the song is that it's up to the individual to keep their life fresh and don't rely on others to do so for you.
These Dutch punks are heavy on the melody and big on social awareness, equality and fighting against injustice. All hugely positive things that help make this record a really good listening experience. The most notable difference between Perspectives & Objectives and the previous three albums is that it's slowed down a bit from the more skate‚Ä"punk sound to something that, dare I say it, has a more mature definition to it. Now that shouldn't put people off this, but it just sounds as is the band has evolved a bit and this shows on the new album.
What I also like about Antillectual is that they are obviously passionate about what they do and what they sing about but they're not in the business of forcing anything down anyone's throat. The lyrics are there to listen to and read, but I never get the impression that they're being shouted out as orders or as the definitive way. Of course, when a band perform songs that rail against homophobia and bullying then it's difficult not to agree with those sentiments, although I'd assume that most people who make the decision to listen to the band are already onside in terms of the general ethos and thinking of the band. "Bullies" is a fine example of what Antillectual is capable of and it addresses not just the bullying that can be so harmful and long‚Ä"lasting from an early age in school but also that found later on in life in terms of corporate bullying.
Beyond the lyrics the musicianship is top notch, with songs full of great riffs, bass lines that drive along and drums that keep snap away mercilessly, with all having a positive impact on the musical outcome . Having seen the band twice in a short space of time last year, it's pleasing to report that they're damned good in a live setting too. As melodic Europunk goes, this band has to be up near the top of the pile.
This is a co‚Ä"release between a number of labels, but this was submitted for review by No Reason Records. The other labels are Suburban Records, Destiny Records, 5 Feet Under Records, Lockjaw Records, Angry Chuck Records, Destroy It Yourself, A‚Ä"F Records, Effervescence Records and Undermusic Records.