Instantly reminds of me of Grizzly Bear’s Friend EP which was released coming off the well-received Yellow House. This one is similarly built: a couple of extras, a couple of remixes. I suppose if you’re a fan of the various artists who appear here, there’s no real harm of getting a hold of (together).
Except: Nicole Atkins’ more confrontational voice doesn’t fit the atmospheric “Hounds” very well. Moreover, she and Silverman sing it in a duet-style, and coupled with the fact that it’s clearly the result of a jam between the two artists, it just feels like little more than cash-grab of people who are a fan of either artist.
Except: the same goes for Neon Indian-aided “Rolled Together,” which begins with typical Neon Indian noodling, and the track doesn’t actually begin until the 1:32 mark. After that, the only thing Neon Indian adds to the track is more typical Neon Indian noodling, and I could’ve honestly have produced the same sounds if you gave me a [synth/arpeggiator/IPad/Macbook/etc.].
Except: the Bear in Heaven track is 18 minutes long.
Except: their cover of the xx’s “VCR” is one of the worst songs of 2011. Never mind that a single voice covering a track that benefits from two singers is unlikely to top the original. The problem here is that the Antlers’s main selling point – Peter Silberman’s voice – is soaked under so much greasy reverb, it’s hard to make out what he’s actually saying. After the sonic progression seen in Burst Apart from Hospice, it’s unfortunate to hear the Antlers reverting back to 2008’s New York Hospitals EP, where they covered the Magnetic Fields’ “Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing” in the exact same way, and it’s not like that cover came close to touching the original either. The worst part about all of this is that the Antlers released a much better version of the track before (together)‘s official version, that retained the soft beauty of the original and didn’t rely on cheap studio tricks from yesteryear.
Except: if you do want to hear Peter Silberman’s voice, you get it in an overdose on a deconstructed version of “I Don’t Want Love,” sung over some sparse guitar chords that sound more flatulent than they do anything else.
Except: the PVT remix of the most aggressive track on the album (note that “most aggressive” doesn’t mean much in an album full of passive tracks), “Parentheses,” becomes some sort of weird dance-thing while the SNRF version of “French Exit” just plays like the original recorded in a different room separated by a drywall.
Of the rest of the material, the only other non-remixed/non-alternate version of a track off of Burst Apart is “Tongue Tied,” which can be found as a bonus track off some issues of the album proper anyway. If you’ve already gotten a hold of it, or have already heard it and decided why it didn’t find a spot on Burst Apart (it’s not bad, it’s just not very good), then I suggest you steer clear.