Burst Apart picks up where 2009's Hospice left off: at the juncture of emotional confusion and sexual frustration, where most relationships tend to gravitate after the dust has had time to settle. While the two albums' storylines fit together seamlessly, Peter Silberman presents his sentiments in a more restrained manner on Burst Apart, in contrast to Hospice's often melodramatic outpours. Burst Apart focuses its sights on a singular dilemma: an approach that ultimately allows the listener (and presumably Silberman) to savor the bitter taste of a relationship's aftermath. Where Hospice brilliantly conveyed a man's cathartic emotional confessions, Burst Apart explores love's residuals.



Album opener "I Don't Want Love" finds Silberman using metaphor to describe the (specifically sexual) continues frustration of the relationship providing most of Hospice's lyrical fodder: "So if I see you again/ Desperate and stoned/ Keep your prison locked up/ And I will leave my gun at home." "I Don't Want Love” is an appropriate introduction to the resounding theme of sex as a hindering force. Its dreamy guitar accompanies Silberman's floating falsetto as "Love" leads into "French Exit", a track that exudes a premature sense of accomplishment with its building percussion rolls and hopeful synths.

"Parentheses" illustrates the Antlers' newfound form of expression, wherein Silberman uses his lyrics to loosely convey a general idea -- rather than an onslaught of emotion. This approach gives Michael Lerner and Darby Cicci the opportunity to showcase instrumentation that perfectly echoes the song's theme: frustration. "Parentheses" and its successors' lyrical/instrumental cohesion doesn't just materialize in single tracks; it creates tight transitions. The break-beat that propels "Parentheses" passes into "No Widows" at an appropriately more subdued pace, paralleling the lyrical schema that, at this point in the album/relationship, is rightfully fixated on melancholy realization of aloneness.

Burst Apart's driving force is its reliance on patterns. Sonically, it fluctuates between lulls ("Rolled Together", "Corsicana") and moments of lucidity that perfectly articulate the struggle of being sexually involved with a person from whom you've recently become emotionally estranged. "Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out" represents a gradual lose of restraint. A gently-plucked guitar plucking neatly as a sense of panic and delirium builds as Silberman taunts himself with desire, repeating "Try it, try it" until he finally succumbs to his urges. From the drunken haze that closes "Every Night" emerges the instrumental cavern of "Tiptoe", whose ghoulish howls send the album on a reflective path in its closing statement, "Putting The Dog To Sleep".

By the end of Burst Apart, themes of amputation have been broached, alcohol has served only as a temporary sedative and has exacerbated the issue, and loyalty (in the form of a dog) appears synonymous with helplessness. The Antlers' meditation leaves them at ease with their lack of a solution to the problem of lost love; through it all, Burst Apart conveys a sense of peace with the newfound acceptance of not having a definitive answer.