If you like your rock music fused with elements of 80s post-punk, goth and electronica, then north-western England band ANTEES tick all the boxes with a sound they describe as “energetic, gritty and loud.”
The quartet of Sav (vocals), Anton (guitar and keys) and, slightly confusingly, Ste (lead guitar) and Ste (bass) hail from around Warrington and Manchester. Anton and bassist Ste were previously in a band that Anton had begun writing for during the first lockdown and attracted from a couple of record labels but didn’t quite work out.
Undeterred, they moved away from their purely electronic sound to adding more rock elements and began recruiting for a full band, completing the lineup in April.
And, as Anton explains: “Firstly, I brought in a good friend of mine Ste and his old writing partner Sav and started putting together some tracks between what we had all been working on during the covid pandemic. In late April we travelled down to London to sign an Independent record deal with Regent Street Records, who have been absolutely brilliant to work with and a huge help leading up to the first release.”
In the last six months or so, the band has honed that Anton tells us they struggle to describe themselves. As he says: “Every time we are in the studio we pick out new elements that either hadn’t been there or we hadn’t noticed previously. So it’s ever evolving. We have had people describe us as ‘Pendulum on Acid’ and ‘Sesh Music’ since the release as well as ‘A throwback to early 90’s Goth.’ Which may be accurate for this release, but we do have a few more tricks up our sleeves.”
Said first release is ANTEES’ debut single The End of True Romance, which was released on 1 September. The track opens up with an awakening stabbing blast of electronica. Drums and a big thick bassline kick in under a cool atmospheric instrumental section and drop into a stabbing synth and thick bass under Sav’s laid-back vocals.
It picks up in intensity for a chorus of engaging, almost spoken-sung vocals over livelier instrumentals, which ends with spoken vocals “One last shot at true romance, Throw them in it’s worth a chance, What’s the worst that can happen, Fuckin’ fallin’.” That feeds straight into a second chorus, which ends on a cool stabbing synth sound over driving guitar chords and drums. And that feeds into a catchy final chorus that ends with repeats of “She took my hand and she asked me to dance… Could this be the end of true romance?”
On releasing their debut single, Anton tells us: “It feels great! It’s been a long process in total from getting in the studio in April to having it released but it’s been worth it!
“The reception so far seems to have been really good. We certainly weren’t expecting an overnight viral hit and we are far from it. But being added to the Apple Music editorial playlists alongside some huge names that we look up to definitely feels a bit surreal.
“For people who haven’t listened to our music yet, they should expect a full assault on the senses. The End Of True Romance combines influences stemming from Nine Inch Nails, to Joy Division and back. I wish I could explain it better but even we struggle to figure out what we are doing!” Check it out in the video stream:
The ANTEES’ music is largely inspired by the 80s post-punk and goth scene, including bands like Joy Division, The Cure and Sisters of Mercy. That’s mixed with Anton’s personal influences like Enter Shikari, Imagine Dragons and Nine Inch Nails, as well as a range of punk and pop-punk bands.
And on what influences them to write music, Sav tells us: “The lyrical content of the songs varies from song to song. Most of the themes we write about are very personal to us, relating to addiction, mental health and romance. Occasionally we enjoy throwing in a curve ball and drop a song about ancient legends or myths. Just to keep you on your toes!”
We’re excited by the sound of ANTEES’ debut single and we’re looking forward to hearing more of what the band have to offer. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long as their second single Hektic Finale is out in two weeks (15 October).
That same day, you can also catch ANTEES’ first headline gig at the AATMA in Manchester. Tickets are available here. You can also see them play R-Fest at Retro Bar in Manchester on 13 November. Tickets for that are here.
And as Anton adds: “We are looking to head out on tour in 2022 as well as join the festival circuit and will be continuing to release music consistently.”