REVIEW: Antarctigo Vespucci – Love in the Time of E-mail

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REVIEW: Antarctigo Vespucci – Love in the Time of E-mail

Drew Dawson

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Sometimes you have to embrace your angst and listen to some music that brings it out in you. For me, Antarctigo Vespucci is the perfect trip for a shitty day. Sometimes pop punk ends up being heavier punk than pop or vice versa, but their new album Love in the Time of E-mail is surprisingly balanced. The group is made up of Chris Farren (formerly of Fake Problems) and Jeff Rosenstock (Bomb the Music Industry!) so their differences and similarities show through.

The album takes the “sad boy” emotional lyrics that pop punk is known for and combines them with instrumentation that, to me, is like listening to Man Overboard if MGMT produced their album and then One Direction was somehow also along for the ride. Funnily enough, I have had a pop-punk phase, a One Direction phase, and an indie synth pop phase so this album felt like it was made to make me nostalgic. 

The first track “Voicemail” is a calm introduction to the rest of the tracks. There is almost no background audio to the song besides some lo-fi noise and chime synths. The lyrics are cookie-cutter pop punk “is it weird that I’ve been thinking about you / I know the normal thing to do would be to talk to you / but I won’t.” 

“Kimmy” then follows and provides a complete change of tone. The chimes have picked up and drums and base carry the song through its poppy chorus and, of course, an audience clapping interlude to really amp up the track. Quintessentially pop-punk, the lyrics capture youthful jitters about girls. This is one piece of the album that makes me draw the connection to One Direction and other boy bands; the claps and the hyped up beat and the nervousness make it sound kind of like a song designed to appeal to a specific young audience, much like the way that mainstream boybands’ music is doctored. 

As the album progresses, it stays on a high note. “White Noise” and “Breathless on DVD” offer a lot of head-nodding production and punchy lyrics that brighten up as they go along. The choruses of both of these tracks are wildly catchy and offer a decent distraction. “Freakin’ U Out” keeps the nervous skater boy vibes coming and makes insecurity fun and exciting. It’s hard not to sing along after hearing the song a couple of times because it really does worm its way into your head. 

The album ends with “E-mail,” a slow tune that brings everything full circle and closes out with sorrowful story of waving at someone you know and have them ignore you in return. After such a high energy core of the album, this closer lets out all that amped up emotion as the sadness that it was always secretly trying to convey. The end feels emotionally exhausted and as the birds chirping fade out, it’s almost like all of the feelings were your own.  

Antarctigo Vespucci – Love in the Time of E-mail (Polyvinyl Records) [power pop/ pop punk] Recommended: 2, 3, 7, 8 RIYL: Jeff Rosenstock, Fake Problems, Man Overboard, Thin Lips