Antibalas: Security

February 28, 2007
Antibalas - Security Antibalas is an American take on Nigerian Afrobeat, one that’s become more refined with each subsequent release. Security (Anti Records), the band’s fourth full-length album, leaves the Afrobeat sound for new territory.

The song “Beaten Metal” standoffishly greets listeners with off-kilter horn stabs, lock-step percussion, and chirps and chatter of guitar and organ, before it breaks down into a groove played on scrap metal. Antibalas scales back tempos and focuses on creating an atmosphere more suited for a sensual horizontal mambo than frantic footwork.

Except for a few brass bursts, “Sanctuary” and “Age” gently bubble along, kept in motion by calm guitar swipes and a combination of keys and vibes. Keyboards and vocal harmonies dominate the song “Hilo,” making it the first Antibalas tune you can cuddle with.

Security has its up-tempo moments as well, (like the excellent vocal-driven “War Hero”) but only on the extended “Filibuster XXX” do things get truly hot. True to its title, the first seven minutes serve as a warm up to business at hand—calling out the GOP for its many flaws.

Though it lacks the timely bite of “Indictment,” their previous political jam, “Filibuster,” gets the body moving and ready to shake fists at any nearby suits. Musically, Security defies its title and flouts expectations of Antibalas’ abilities. Whether they hold on to this current aesthetic is irrelevant. Security suggests whatever they do will be moving.

– Steve Mizek
Antibalas (Anti)

By February 28, 2007


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