antimony.jpgA long time, there was a band from the DC area called Circus Lupus, who put out two full-lengths along with a Joan Jett produced single on Dischord Records. The band played a spastic, sometimes messy mix of math rock/punk, and became most notable for vocalist Chris Thomson’s snarled voice. I think I saw them once when I was very young and impressionable and thought, “That music was crazy, but people with hair dyed orange is even crazier.” (Yes, times have changed.) Anyways, like all things DC and Dischord with the exception of Lungfish, Circus Lupus broke up. I don’t know why, but it seems to have been a split between Thomson and the remaining three quarters of the band (Chris Hamley-guitar, Seth Lorinczi-bass, Arika Casebolt-drums), who went on to form Antimony. It was, essentially, the music of Circus Lupus without Thomson’s vocals, which were replaced by a muffled, borderline spoken word soundtrack provided by guitarist Chris Hamley. I got to see the new band once, in a record store in Arlington, VA I think, and was definitely into it. The band eventually headed back to the studio and recorded a full-length produced by J. Robbins of Jawbox and mixed by Ian MacKaye. And then the inevitable happened again; Antimony broke up. I had Phantom Itch once upon a time, but lost it many moons ago. Luckily, I found a link to download it here, and I was very glad to find it again. The music is 14 years old, but it’s stood the test of time very well. I think I actually appreciate it more than Circus Lupus since the very math-driven music isn’t overshadowed by the vocals. But wow, what a terrible album cover…

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