Formed in 2011, songwriter/director Antony Ablan began his search for a band–a group of musicians that could handle, with grace, the wildly eclectic and dynamic changes in mood of his writing.
Rife with sweeping choruses, divinely executed instrumentation and lyrics fraught with modern technological tension, Chicago quintet Antony + the Tramps’ sophomore full-length Digital Arms will see a May 5th release worldwide, with a special live album show at Lincoln Hall April 17th. Led by vocalist/guitarist Antony Ablan, the group has been building a substantial following around the Midwest for five years now, anchored by Ablan’s charismatic presence and a cohesiveness amongst the remaining members – bassist Ryan Carney, guitarist/vocalist Joseph Messing, drummer Chris Palmerin and keyboardist/woodwind player Kedgrick Pullums Jr. – unparalleled by their D.I.Y. brethren.
Digital Arms was recorded in the band’s own studio over the course of a year, with the intent of creating (as Ablan explains) “masculine grooves and feminine melody.” They’ve succeeded, but maybe even more so than they had anticipated: Palmerin’s drums echo with mountainous flair; Pullums’ dizzing assault of sonic color and brash chops; Carney’s thick bass runs and Messing’s chaotic guitar lines conjoin to create blissful harmonies and even an occasional gnarly, brave dissonance; and Ablan’s vocals run the gamut of being commanding and sensual one minute and courageously naked the next. “Triumphant” is a worthwhile adjective for Digital Arms as a whole, but with a sound this huge and focused, it’s a wonder if this group ever had any obstacle they couldn’t crush with this bold, brilliant sound.
Download: Antony & The Tramps