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ANTON BARBEAU_Berliner Grotesk_COVER.jpg
Berliner Grotesk
(2019 - Pink Hedgehog - UK)
(2019 - Beehive Sound - USA)

Thirty minutes of under the circus top, slightly waggish, waltzing, motley and sometimes mysterious, lonely dark ballads. And then the quasi psychedelic, often haunted stage performances, by what could be an abandoned child from Bob Dylan or Mike Scott (The Waterboys), give the listener a show that must go on. This is the third (and completion) of Anton's 'Transfiguration Trilogy'. The first was 'Magic Act', followed by 'Natural Causes'. Both of those were brilliant. Although he never originally intended these to be a trilogy, the final products resulted in the connected project. At least in Barbeau's eyes.

Formally with Three Minute Tease, a UK band along with Andy Metcalfe and Morris Windsor (Soft Boys/Egyptians), Anton has done 80's electric dance, cool pop that straddled Jellyfish and Kevin Ayers, and trippy rock, throwing in a variety of theatrical styles. He released over a dozen albums before 2013 had ended. He has been prolific, but almost under the radar, until he released 'Empire of Potential', which was a career spanning best of. He has talent for a clever chemistry of hook filled tunes among off kilter rock, and is very generous with it.

He was born in Sacramento, California, but now lives in Berlin. After approximately twenty albums, and working with members of XTC, The Soft Boys, Bevis Fond, Cake, Loud Family, to name a few, Barbeau shows his skills once again in high level song writing, on 'Berliner Grotesk'. The carnival atmosphere sounds natural to his compositions, and some Beatles-like gems appear without effort, in a perfectly linear way. I mentioned Bob Dylan, and his voice reminds me of that man a bit (but more like Mike Scott who I adore), however I prefer Anton's voice by a landslide, I also love his lyrics much more, as I find both the delivery more sincere and valid. The music occupies a place of moveable feast, reality in spades, and life experience tribute. This album is too short, but very top notch in song writing and a superb end to his trilogy. Take a listen at the bandcamp link provided above, and do the man justice with a purchase.

   ©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 4 - 20 - 2019
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