I don’t always smoke pot, but when I do, I prefer it with Lighteater. The Brooklyn quartet is generally considered post-metal and their live shows are heavy and visceral to be sure. But there is a relaxed, unrushed, almost dreamy quality to their first EP that to me makes it the perfect accompaniment for fat-assed joint, a bowl of Cheetos, and some quality time staring at a wall.
It is a cinematic work that despite only having four songs, all of which are instrumentals, takes a listener on a journey alternating between airy ambience and slow-burning grindcore heaviness. It does so with excellent song craftsmanship. Many post rock and metal bands cobble together musical pieces that may or may not fit and call it a song. This was true of even some of my favorites of their ilk, like the Red Sparrows, a band that Lighteater probably most closely resembles in sound and feel. Lighteater’s themes, however, flow naturally and develop logically, such that the listener is entertained more than challenged. Where Red Sparrows was experimental and noisy, Lighteater is warm and human, while also being more focused and a bit less esoteric.
The EP opens with ‘Tailhook’, which is my favorite track on the record and one of my favorite post-metal songs out there. It begins with a playful riff and bass combo that one could almost mistake for lounge music. From there, the song slowly unfolds, eventually culminating in an epic storm of guitar distortion, all the while never losing the underlying theme it started with. Despite the heaviness, there is an inspirational quality to the song. You feel good listening to it. You want to take another drag.
’10 oz’ follows, a bass driven journey that starts in ambient and sunny before turning darker and more sinister. It becomes one of the heavier songs on the album, but, again the effect isn’t emotionally negative. ‘Quiver’ is probably the prettiest and most triumphant song on the EP, while at times also being the most pensive. The record finishes with ‘Flux’, which is the most metal sounding and probably the least emotionally accessible, although even here there are moments of surprising beauty.
While Antique is not going to win Lighteater any prizes for innovation or experimentation, the downtempo pace and excellent thematic development make it an easy listen that doesn’t get old quickly. If you like Isis, Pelican or Red Sparrows, Lighteater is a band you should keep an eye out for. Also, if you feel like taking a break from Kyuss and Nightmares on Wax, but don’t want to hang up your smoking jacket, you may want to give these guys a try.