You'd be forgiven for wondering where Antiskeptic have disappeared to in recent years. It's been a quiet time for the Melbourne three-piece " publicly, at least. In private, the band has undergone a rebirth that now sees them poised to return, bigger, better and more energised than ever before.
Let's rewind for a moment " to 2003, and the release of the band's second LP, Aurora. The album was an instant success, capitalising on Antiskeptic's years of touring and boasting a heavier rock edge that set venues alight. Both singles found favour with radio programmers and dominated jjj's Net 50, while successful tours featured hot young support bands like Gyroscope, Kisschasy and After The Fall.
Shortly before the recording of Aurora, bassist Sean Daly left the group to pursue other interests. Remaining members Andrew Kitchen and Nick Coppin soldiered on through the recording and promotion of Aurora, enlisting fill-in members to help them perform live, but by the end of 2003 they were feeling the strain. Sean's departure limited what the band could achieve, and despite the success of Aurora, Andrew and Nick knew something was missing. The chemistry between all three members was what made the Antiskeptic sound so powerful, and without Sean, they knew they couldn't reach the next level.
After some time spent soul-searching, Sean returned to the group, immediately reenergizing Antiskeptic's sound. Happy to be a three-piece again, the group decided to record a new EP. The resulting tracks are the band's most collaborative to date " emerging spontaneously from rehearsal sessions, rather than from individual members, as they had in the past.
The Monuments EP boasts some of the most focussed songs Antiskeptic have committed to tape. Lead track "Dancing on the Inside" explodes with a serrated, riff-heavy intro, before Kitchen's vocals take off, leading to one of the most infectious choruses you will hear this year. The band has cemented the heavy edge they first explored on Aurora, emerging with a sound that would put many of this country's hard rock acts to shame. Above it all, their trademark melodic style dips and soars, imbuing the songs with an optimism so often missing from alternative rock.
Also bundled with the EP is a DVD featuring 'in-studio' video clips of all four songs, commentary from the band, and a live performance from Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena in 2005.
With new material and a newfound cohesion, Antiskeptic are set to wow Australian punters once again. After seven years playing music together, and their fair share of ups and downs, the band has never felt more alive.