Yes folks, this band is the same Cave In that released Beyond Hypothermia and played metal. Yes avid readers, this is the same Cave In that played space rock and released Jupiter. But the music that graces this compact disc isn't metal or space rock, but instead radio friendly rock music with nebula inspired riffage. At this rate Cave In is going to be a boy band by the next album. Stephen Brodsky has vocals that are very soft sounding that can hit some very high notes, very evident in "Seafrost" when he breaks through the ceiling. Although he never screams like he did in previous releases, you can still feel his heart pounding through the musical serenity. Speaking of "Seafrost", I'm not sure why they put this as the sixth track when it's the longest song and breaks apart the flow of the album, maybe one of the producers suggested it then they all caved in. Their sound will float out of your speakers like gas then run through your head like a liquid would, this change of properties can hopefully be explained by a chemist. Catchy experimental sounding music is a first, originality points aplenty. By sacrificing the rock they had produced on Jupiter to have catchy music it loses substance and becomes pop rock, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. This is definitely better than the music that can be found on your local radio station, but that doesn't really say a lot. I have trouble listening to this all the way through because of the lack of replay; the songs start to blend together like corn and potatoes. When you first get your plate they are separated, but after you are done eating the two, they become digested and create the same piece of shit. The track "Penny Racer" displays this pop rock with a lack of spine well, although the metal guitar solo is pretty sweet. Although everything seems to have gone downhill for this band, two things in particular have improved on this, the lyrics and the sound of the bass. It's so annoying when bands have the bass so low you can't really hear it, like in Jupiter, but on this it's easier to hear. If you are going to go camping with your family or spend lots of time in the car with your parents, I suggest bringing this CD along. Antenna is an album that anybody can enjoy, but still has some mondo chill elements for you indie dickheads who enjoy the musical complexity. It's just not nearly as good as Jupiter.
This is one of the many albums of 2003 that I love but am also dissapointed with. Cave In have managed to write numerous catchy, commercial rock songs without deviating from their style too much. I'm not saying 'catchy/commercial' with a negative connotation, this is a good album. However, I can't move past Jupiter. That album was brilliant, and they took a step down from it. No longer will you find these spacey post-hardcore titans straying away from basic song structure, but instead, conforming to it. They must feel they mastered that facet of music and are now attemping ton conquer the kingdom of 'the catchy hook'. I'd say they have done that, but I still had hoped for more.
If you have not heard Cave In yet, you are obviously living under a rock. That or you are just really stupid. Starting out playing "metal-core" in '95 or so, they have had one of the most obvious sound changes a band could ever have. It started with Creative Eclipses EP back in '99. It continued on and evolved with Jupiter in '00, which is one of the most critically acclaimed independently released albums of the past five years and undoubtedly, the best space rock album I have ever come across(haha). When they released Tides of Tomorrow in '02, people started to wonder "Where is Cave In going to go with Antenna?" Not only did they start to wonder, they started complaining. Tides of Tomorrow met with such mixed reactions. It was a lot mellower than Jupiter and not very "spacey". This leads us into '03 where Cave In released their major label debut, Antenna.
Cave In starts on this release with "Stained Silver", which is one of three tracks that have appeared on previous releases. This was on a three song promo cd that wasn't widely distributed. It was a definite tip-off to Cave In's straight forward rock sound that was to come with this release. This is a perfect start for the record in my opinion. After that, they continue to rock you with "Inspire", which has one of the heaviest, dirtiest, riffs I have heard in awhile(even if it does sound like an exact Radiohead rip-off). I can see this song being used as the follow up single to "Anchor".
Things are slowed down, but not too much with "Joy Opposites". This is a mid tempo rock song that could almost be looked at as a "love song". Departure for Cave In, yet it doesn't seem out of place at all. "Anchor" follows up this song. We all know "Anchor". Yes that song.
After "Anchor", I feel there is a flaw in the tracklisting. Putting "Beautiful Son" and "Seafrost" back to back is a terrible decision as they are both slow paced and decently long(Beautiful Son clocks in a 4 minutes while Seafrost is a lengthy 9 minutes). "Beautiful Son" is a slow acoustic type song with a guitar doing delay stuff in the background. It is quite boring in regards to the rest of the album. There are no drums and no climax to the song. Without a doubt, my least favorite of this release. "Seafrost" is the epic song on this release. The bass line made me feel like I was playing Earthbound for the Super Nintendo and I was walking through the prairie to get to Saturn Valley. Very rad. This song is one of the only songs that would have probably fit on Jupiter. With a slow but driving drum part and the bass line helping keep the back bone, this song is actually one of my favorites on the record. Brodsky hits some very falsetto notes during the chorus while saying "I'm freezing" that are quite impressive. The last three minutes of the song are filled with delay everywhere and a bass line that seems to be having a jam session at times. Very random but altogether fitting. It'll be interesting to see how often this song is played live, if at all.
After you have been slowed down and prepped for love, they come back with "Rubber and Glue", the second re-recorded song for this record. This originally appeared on the aforementioned 3 song promo that "Stained Silver" appeared on but was named "Bigger Riff" at the time. Boy am I glad they changed the name. This song is pretty poppy and pretty damn good, showing that Cave In has honed their "lets fit a poppy rock song into about 3 minutes" skills. "Youth Overrided" follows this and brings it to a mid tempo pace akin to "Joy Opposites". Very good song that is somewhat lost amongst the sea of mid-tempo to slow songs on this record.
"Breath of Water" could of possibly fit on Jupiter. It starts off pretty exciting but slows down immediately leaving you yearning for something more than these slow to mid tempo songs. The ending of this song was definitely not needed. The whole epic, dramatic sound to the end was really corny sounding in my opinion. Luckily the record picks up, again, with the third and final re-recording, "Lost In the Air". This song will make you feel good, no matter what mood you are in. This song originally appeared on the Lost In the Air/Liftoff EP. I can see why they re-recorded it. It has that poppy rock sort of sound to it that could appeal to the masses. Three re-recordings though is a little much.
The record closes out with "Penny Racer" and ""Woodwork". The former is the shortest song on the record and very upbeat. While the song isn't bad by any means, there is this beep-beep sound in the chorus that drives me fucking insane. The latter is the last song on the record so of course it has to be slow and drawn out. That is in the "How To Make a Record" handbook. While it sounds like Cave In, at the same time it has this vibe that isn't them. Hard to describe. I did like the little effect they had going on the end with the weird distortion to close out the record.
Will it win back fans lost after Tides, or turn them further away? While it does have a lot more of the "space" feel than Tides had, it's just as mellow. If you can deal with the fact that you will never hear Brodsky scream his lungs out on a record, that Cave In will probably never write something as good as "Big Riff" again, and that Cave In is on the verge to be one of the biggest things to happen to mainstream rock in a long while, then you will like it. If those prospects scare you, then maybe you should just be a hermit and listen to Jupiter on repeat.
7.333333333333333333333333333 / 10
Reviewed by 3 writers.
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