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Antique Seeking Nuns - Careful! It's Tepid CD (album) cover


Antique Seeking Nuns

Canterbury Scene

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PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars 'Careful! It's Tepid' is the last part of the band's so-called Triple Burst trilogy. Matt Baber (keys) and Joff Winks (guitar, vocals) are collaborating since their schooldays. The basics for this recordings come from early sessions. For what reason ever ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS' masterminds recently decided to close this chapter forever and ever - accompanied by the intention to go forward with a new project called 'Sanguine Hum'. Hence the band's legacy finally consists of three EPs recorded during a relatively long lapse of time. A planned full CD album could not be realized though.

Anyhow - at least the last two productions, together nearly reaching for an album length, are very interesting and have much to offer - short and compact songs, canterbury influenced, worth it to be intensively explored. Now the opener Leave Us A Message confirms this reminding me of Caravan. Just to point out Joff Winks' acoustic guitar and wonderfully charming vocals, later synchronizing with Baber's electric piano. A potential hit - only dedicated to the prog rock genre of course because evolving to a quite complex thing. And then they continue in a mellow mood, even enriched with some pop-appeal on the short The Foulness! The Stench! .

What also can be counted among the more laid back songs is The Bearded Bag Lady - decorated with some slight balalaika feeling and samples. Other tracks have much of a special trickiness. Dead Cheese is more referring to their predecessor EP (not only because of the song title). The band always emphasizes Frank Zappa's influence on the compositions. Hmmh - probably I should name Gong too. Xylophone alike elements (key generated I assume), tribal percussion, slicing electric guitars, swirling piano, weird breaks and turns - this is all put together to a really enjoyable instrumental song.

Hatfield And The North meets Steven Wilson! Impossible? Just listen to Ointment For Flies - the longest and most playful track. It's worth while to take enough time for the compositional aspect. A grooving fundament with several variations is leading, acoustic and heavy guitars are acting simultaneously and Matt Baber appears restrained here offering well accentuated synthesizer, piano and xylophone impressions.

Maybe this is just because I didn't reserve enough time to listen - I still prefer the predecessor 'Double Egg With Chips And Beans' though. As for my impression 'Careful! It's Tepid' comes more relaxed in its entirety. What stays is this special harmony of all the instruments (including vocals). Anyhow - the most important thing is the new project hopefully continues on this way. Recommended - really well done!

Report this review (#237187)
Posted Friday, September 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars ANTIQUE SEEKING NUNS third and final effort is a beauty folks. Man these guys are so good at penning a catchy tune and making it challenging at the same time. As usual we get their weird sense of humour along with their "lights out" instrumental work.

"Leave Us A Message" is a bright tune that will alter your mood quickly. "The Foulness ! The Stench !" is one of my favourites and i'm sure there's mellotron in it. "Dead Cheese" features intricate percussion and guitar. Great sound.

"The Bearded Bag Lady" opens with vibes, bass and drums. It turns haunting after 4 1/2 minutes. "Ointment For Flies" is my favourite. What a dynamic track. His voice to open reminds me of Claudio from COHEED. It turns fuller 1 1/2 minutes in. Processed vocals come and go and i'm remided of PT for some reason. Vibes before 4 minutes.

An entertaining release and if I ever get the second EP i'm going to put them all together for one killer recording.

Report this review (#290427)
Posted Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The final EP from one of perhaps the last ever British Canterbury scene bands.

It is a great shame that not more bands takes up the baton laid down by the likes of Caravan, Gilgamesh, Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt. Instead, we get a lot of new bands playing either symph prog or female vocalist fronted bands playing a mix of AOR and neo-prog. That market is over crowded in my view. Why not follow in Antique Seeking Nuns footsteps ?

With song titles like The Bearded Bag Lady, you know you are in for something weird. The music on this far too short EP is a mix of Canterbury and post rock. It is full of small details wrapped up in quirky great melodies. The vocals are great. The musicians does a brilliant job too. The music is both guitar based and full of quirky tangents too. There is a lot of great ideas here and they all comes of brilliantly.

I would unashamed brand Antique Seeking Nuns as one of the best and biggest secrets in the British music scene. Their three EPs is most definate worth going for, whatever the costs (hint, hint..... an email to the band Sanguine Hum, see interview, will probably do).

Great stuff !

4 stars

Report this review (#423905)
Posted Monday, March 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
4 stars Never-ending excitement

Finishing up their ep trilogy, we find Careful it's Tepid with yet another catchy, melodic, humorous, bouncy, well-written, suave, cool, fun, jazzy, rockin', danceable, propelling, British, low brow, twitchy, infectious and intriguing release!

This is indeed Canterbury for the modern peeps out there, and while you quite easily spot the quirky shifts and turns of said genre - the inevitable British 'ratherness' and poise, you are also served with that special flavouring that runs through the two eps leading up to this. Sure you get lots of exotic touches - be that marimbas or xylophone meanderings cooking up a melodic storm, as well as the remnants of classic bands such as Hatfield and the North and Caravan especially in the frolicking electric piano or almost reggae like rhythm sways of gutar, - yet there's always that sense of futuristic refinement - at times akin to Porcupine Tree. Still you won't find any straight up references here, because everything seems to be kneaded into the batter in a way that makes the instruments and feel endemic to the band. It's the combination of well-known musical ingredients that together form this awe-inspiring act. Hell, just like any other unique band out there - or every little thing in the universe for that matter - everything is put together by small invisible building blocks - we as humans have alarmingly much in common dna wise with an everyday coffee-table, but it is the way the little molecular suckers are put together that in the end defines them and magically creates diversity and difference. Music is no stranger to this concept.

I rate this just as highly as the debut ep, and just like John here, I too like to listen to all of these in one setting - making for a brilliant full scale album. Together these 3 releases would get a masterpiece rating in no time. Even for people who find little of interest inside the strange and oddly bouncy pastures of Canterbury, -YOU my dears are probably going to love this band. In fact I'll wager my cut of Borneo and throw in a couple of sand-arrows to boot - you'll like this. It's music for an evening out on a boat - or spent lying on a floor somewhere. You could also use it for a hovercraft soundtrack, but whatever you do - listen to the bloody thing! Get excited about the music -jump, dance, sing and remember how you felt back when you slushed around in the kiddy sized plastic pool... That is essentially what I get from these guys.

Report this review (#786100)
Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars It's a sad thing that a brilliant band like this never really caught on and could only put out 3 EPs of excellent music. Over the course of these three EPs, we end up with music that could be combined onto one album to make a perfect 5 star album of perfectly crafted and slightly satirical and progressive Canterbury music. But, we have to take what we can get, and 3 short EP's released between the years of 2003 to 2009 are all we are going to get from this innovative band.

'Careful! It's Tepid' was the last of the 3 EPs. After this EP, the famous duo of Baber and Winks would go on to form the band 'Sanguine Hum', which is interesting music in and of itself. This little EP starts with 'Leave Us a Message' which begins with a simple acoustic guitar and vocals, but gets joined by all the rest of the band shortly, with their nice sound of folk and jazz thrown together in a tasty combination supported by guitars and keyboards. 'The Foulness! The Stench!' is a quick instrumental track with a nice simple keyboard melody surrounded by a mellotron and a happy feeling not reflected in the title.

'Dead Cheese' is more complex with guitar and a complex tonal percussive riff. The track is a great example of the progressiveness of the band and has a bit of heaviness to it. This also proves that this band was amazing. The meter is tricky and the instrumentation is quirky and it is all under-layed with a jazz sense. 'The Bearded Bag Lady' continues with the jazz fusion feel, this time it is with a mellower approach with plenty of the happy tonal percussion. 'Ointment for Flies' is the other song with lyrics and nice harmony. More of that rock and jazz fusion with complex and out-of-the-ordinary sound.

You could try to explain what this music is like and who to compare it to, but it would be tough. Take some of Frank Zappa's jazz music and mix it with The Flaming Lips and mellow it down a bit with Super Furry Animals, then add a bit more complexity and you might have something close. The best way to administer this music to yourself is to try to find all three EPs and play them one after the other. Oh for the day when all of this will be re-released on one single album, preferable on vinyl. But for now, we will just have to do it all digitally. By the way, the only reason it is rated at 4 stars is because it is an EP and way too short.

Report this review (#2138431)
Posted Thursday, February 21, 2019 | Review Permalink

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