Antimaniax - I'm Without Sleep In This Desert Of Concrete (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


I'm Without Sleep In This Desert Of Concrete (2004)

Household Name

This record has nothing to do with Bill Clinton playing the sax, I swear. Austria's Antimaniax are a truly unique band. They're unique for several reasons, one of which being I couldn't pigeonhole them within the first minute of this record.

This band had me from the moment I pressed play, the Simpsons clip at the beginning immediately won my heart. However, the music seemed like typical mosh inducing metalcore. Just as I was about to run down the list of bands that sound like this, the heavy guitars gave way to a speedy bassline, and the gruff vocals I was expecting never came. Instead of being greeted by shouts, I found myself listening to something that sounded vaguely like Assorted Jellybeans. This is only the first of several tricks that this band has up its sleave. I've listened to a ton of bands, but very few have caused me to say "what the fuck" in a genuinely surpirsed way. I've said it quite a few times when a band has been exceptionally awful, but that's a story for another time. Indeed, Antimaniax aren't content with finding one sound and sticking with it. Instead, they take multiple genres and compact them all into their sound, and surprisingly, the result is actually coherent. They never come off as ska band trying to play metal or skate punk band playing hardcore, they play each style with a great deal of proficiency. So while this band is all over the place, it sounds perfectly normal. The biggest surprise came with the song "G8," a blazing track that shows off the band's aggressive side. This song shows the band switching back and forth between shrieked and growled vocals, and it actually bares a slight resemblance to Crucial Unit. Antimaniax leave no stone unturned,and yet it doesn't even sound like they're breaking a sweat. The changes go off without a hitch and the songs are never disrupted. Some bands can't make a record flow while only playing one specific style, Antimaniax pull it off while bouncing all over the musical spectrum.

I see no reason why this record and band won't have a wide appeal. They play so many different sounds, that even if you're not a fan of one set style, they have something else to offer you. I've heard people hailing Folly for their ability to blend ska with heavier music, but I think this band does it a whole lot better, and I find their songs to be more diverse. This is a release that really does have something for everyone, it's not every often that I dig something that uses liberal amounts of ska, but this band is an exception.