AntiSeen: Destructo Maximus: Compiled and edited by Jeff Clayton, Leslie Goldman, and Larry Kay, 268 pgs. By Todd Taylor

Sep 26, 2007

Good lord, this may be the highest quality book by and for a band I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’ll be honest. I’m not a huge fan AntiSeen’s entire catalog, but my hat’s off in total respect for what they and Steel Cage have been able to put together. Actually, I found myself being more of an admirer the more I read about them. Being a publisher and an admirer of archives myself, it’s easy to marvel at not only the faux-leather, silver-embossed cover and the heavy gloss paper, but the sheer volume of pictures and information that covers this band’s first twenty years. The layout itself must have taken the better part of half a year. What’s further amazing is the packrat diversity of what’s inside. Not only are there literally hundreds of pictures of the band, from every lineup (I bet most people don’t realize that AntiSeen had a black bassist for a spell), there are an almost uncountable number of reviews, interviews (many complete reprints), and newspaper clippings. (Like a scan of the certificate that they won the 1988 Creative Loafing “Best Stage Presence/ Appearance,” 1994’s certificate for their lead singer, Jeff Clayton, “Best Person to be Mascot for the Panthers,” and an article on Jeff’s close and loving relationship with his mom.) Wrapping it all together are complete lyrics to all the songs they ever wrote, a complete discography, and a long list of bands that have covered them. Awesome, in the original sense of the word. A very high bar for other bands to aspire to if they’re ever thinking about releasing a retrospective of their lives. –Todd ($25, Steel Cage Books, PO Box 29247, Philadelphia, PA 19125; <>)