By Kendall Becker
Album: The Odds Were All Beating Me
Release Date: January 10, 2019
Label: Den Tapes
Antonioni formed in Seattle, Washington in 2016. The group consists of lead vocalist, guitar and keyboardist Sarah Pasillas, guitar, violinist, vocalist and keyboardist, Austin Dean, drummer Kyle Todaro and bass player Ben Dorcy. In January 2019 they released their sophomore EP, The Odds Were All Beating Me, with a refined sound of psychedelic grunge. It wasn’t necessarily a profound transition from their original alternative dream-rock sound they cultivated in their first EP, Lullablaze.
Pasillas’ voice is reminiscent of Mothers’ lead singer, Kristine Leschper, fuzzy howling. I would also relate her sound to Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner with her soft and somber tonality she dips in and out of.
In an interview, the band explains this EP “consists of five songs carefully examining the internal peaks and valleys of coping with anxiety and uncertainty in a chaotic world… Inspired by sci-fi literature, surrealist films, and personal mythology.”
In an instant their first song “Creature Feature” hums in your ears in a melodic and winding staircase of sound. You can clearly hear influences of ’90s soft grunge with their use of fuzzy distortions, dreamy guitars and lingering vocals similar to The Cranberries in Pasillas’ grainy yowling.
It’s a simple and easy EP to listen to, which can both be good and bad. The good that you can take away from their simplicity is that despite their basic sound, it’s an overall start-to-finish concept. Each track flows beautifully and consistently. There isn’t at any moment where you lose focus of the direction they’re going in and seem to have a good grasp on what kind of music they’re leaning into.
The downfall, however: there’s not enough nuances in their sound to say they’re pushing boundaries in any spectacular way. You could definitely pick up any ’90s record and hear almost identical verses and sound. I would best describe their EP as something you can play in the background of a hangout, a study sesh or just something to zone out to without having to think too hard about the intentions of the artists. This band definitely gives off the impression that they’re from Seattle and that they have O.G. grunge background in them, but I wouldn’t consider this to be a strong enough basis to honor them in something that’s never been done or heard before.
I didn’t necessarily love it. I like the EP for what it is, but nothing more. I think in time they could continue venturing out and refining their sound as they did in this sophomore attempt.
Photo 1: Header Photo
Image Title: The Odds Were All Beating Me by Antonioni
Caption: Antonioni’s sophomore EP, The Odds Were All Beating Me
Alt Text: The album cover is an abstract visual of stars and blue clouds with The Odds Were All Beating Me in blue cursive and Antonioni in peach cursive. There appears to be a room above the clouds with a door to a darker room with yellow specks.
Description: The album cover of Antonioni’s The Odds Were All Beating Me EP
Image Credit: https://antonioni.bandcamp.com