Antarctigo Vespucci

Leavin' La Vida Loca

Written by: MIN on 05/11/2015 20:58:14

Antarctigo Vespucci is a collaboration between Chris Farren (Fake Problems) and Jeff Rosenstock (Bomb the Music Industry!) making dreamy, poppy and emotional rock songs with the occasional touch of DIY-punk (this album merely cost the band 300$ to produce). I could go on and tag them in genres from power-pop a la Weezer to 60s rock in the vein of The Turtles, but ultimately, categorizing them as good, old pop-rock will do.

The album-cover of their full-length debut, “Leavin’ La Vida Loca”, displays Farren lying exhausted on the edge of a chair, next to the air conditioner, under dimmed lights in a messy room. It’s thus the first impression you have of the record, and it’s also the first impression you get when listening to the opener, “2 Days” (featuring both Farren and Rosenstock, singing in harmony):

“Let me off the phone so I can sit at home alone and watch TV // and complain that nothing is inspiring me.”

Both the framework and lyrics of the song appears to be common ground for people familiar with both of our main characters. But the tempo quickly changes into something far more upbeat in the form of the following two songs, “Impossible to Place” and “Save Me from Myself”. As the titles suggest, there’s a lot of self-loathing and fear of abandonment found within the lyrical content, but the music itself is irresistibly happy and the choruses will have you singing along in no time. The latter of the songs even has Rosenstock yelling in the break, so there’s a little touch of punk for you there.

A lot of the songs are cleverly written by being seemingly cheerful, but when you start deciphering the lyrics, you see that insecurities and dependencies linger everywhere. The narratives of the songs are mostly incredibly naïve, and it adds another layer to the lyrics. And if the song “Living in Hell” isn’t a prime example of the necessity of relying on someone else, I don’t know what is:

“If someone cared as much for me // as you do for me now // Maybe we would have never met // and I would still be living in hell.”

Musically, the album is confident in execution. Chris Farren does a good job at singing leads, and Jeff Rosenstock fills in nicely now and then. There are some great guitar- and keyboard parts, and especially the short instrumental, “VI”, adds a nice and relaxed flavor to the album. But one can’t help but miss some of the experimentation seen on the collaboration’s first outing, the EP “I’m So Tethered”, which had the occasional horn section. Furthermore, the drumming is constantly treading water and never gets better than “just good”. When bringing in the drummer from The Gaslight Anthem, Benny Horowitz, you expect something more. This, however, seems to be more of a problem with the songwriting than the drumming itself; there just isn’t room for any noticeable percussion besides the occasional shift in dynamics.

While the song structures overall aren’t very complicated, it’s the record’s lyrical charm and great hooks throughout that keep the listener coming back. Due to the album’s short duration of 25 minutes you never tire of it, and if your Spotify-account has the repeat function on, you can see yourself listening to it several times before turning on something else. “Leavin’ La Vida Loca” feels like exiting your own stressing world and entering something even crazier yet simultaneously friendlier.

Download: Impossible to Place, Save Me from Myself, Losing My Mind
For The Fans Of: Fake Problems, Weezer, The Gaslight Anthem, Jeff Rosenstock

Release date 24.07.2015
Quote Unquote Records

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