"The Antiphon"

(Ernest Jenning Record Co. 2008)Pegasuses-XL - The Antiphon

Pegasuses-XL is four guys from Athens, GA, that formed a band based on their mutual appreciation of "bikes, coffee, and books." Coming from different bands and backgrounds, however, makes this album eclectic to say the least. The influences packed into this 38-minute conceptual synth-rock odyssey are too numerous to name. Snuggled together within the first three tracks alone are the epic dreaminess of Air, the digi-guitars and nihilist vocals of the Faint, and the laid back electronic hipness of Ladytron. "Serious Feelings" floats warm atmospheric synths and Flaming Lips-esque vocals over a breakbeat that sounds like Postal Service on steroids.

The vocals are inconsistent and sometimes non-existent (no less than six different guest vocalists are credited in the liner notes). The real stars of "The Antiphon" are the synthesizers, which carry the songs and instill the album with imagination and feeling. "Drugs for Change" opens the album with an epic buildup, which continues to a pumping piano climax in the Ben-Folds-riding-a-booster-rocket "Marathon Mansion." But after an intensely engaging first half, the songs gradually spiral outward into a loopy, spaced out softness, ending with the melancholic title track.

These boys are making very inspired music " for themselves. With plenty of abrupt endings and complex synth textures "The Antiphon" is in no way user-friendly, but the songs are consistent in that they obey no rules but their own. Like the great Eels albums, this music doesn't really jive with the current musical universe " it jives with itself. If taken out of context, some of the drum samples or guitars might seem off. But when taken in as a whole, everything falls into place. This record feels more considered and composed than written, and though you can't always tell where Pegasuses-XL are coming from, the inspiration and joy of creation shines through in every single track. It might not be for everyone, but if you enjoy an eclectic, hectic synthesizer experience, this will surely be your new jam.


buy it!