Antemasque, the group that Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and former members of the Mars Volta have formed, have shared another galloping, prog-punk song, “Hangin’ in the Lurch.” The band members have a long history with one another – Flea played bass on most of the Mars Volta’s debut album and later contributed trumpet to their second record – and the music they’ve released so far plays up their individual strengths.
“Hangin’ in the Lurch” sounds a bit Rush-like at first, due to Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s medium-pitched singing style. As it continues, the song recalls the punk furors of his and guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López’s first band together, At the Drive-in, before Flea’s slappy bass style on recent Chili Peppers albums creeps into the bridge. There’s even some dubby echoes on the guitar breaks reminiscent of the dub of another one of Rodríguez-López and Bixler-Zavala’s bands, De Facto. It all makes for an urgent, somewhat frazzled-sounding punk fit.
Antemasque sprang into the public consciousness earlier this week when they posted video of the band members rehearsing – and talking about Flea’s Damien Hirst–designed bass – as well as the charging punk-prog crossover track “4AM.” At the time, Flea tweeted, “Woke to find out I’m in a new supergroup. Hahahaha. Played on some tracks a few weeks ago with my friends Omar and Cedric for love that[‘s] all.”
Antemasque’s formation was surprising given the acrimonious way Mars Volta called it quits last January. At the time, Bixler-Zavala tweeted “I tried my hardest to keep it going but Bosnian Rainbows was all we got instead,” referring to guitarist Rodríguez-López’s other group. A Mars Volta forum post linked to by Antemasque’s Facebook page suggests that Rodríguez-López will now continue in both Antemasque and Bosnian Rainbows.