Cave In Antenna

Light years away from ZZ Top’s disappointing 1994 album of the same name, the highly anticipated Antenna sees Boston’s Cave In not only eclipsing the heavily wrought stratospheric majesty of 2000’s Jupiter, but also conjuring a powerful force to be reckoned with in mainstream rock. The big riffs of "Inspire” immediately bring to mind Nirvana, though front-man Stephen Brodsky’s soothing tenor (reportedly strengthened by a vocal coach) and lyrics create the catchiest sing-along tune of the upcoming summer. The shimmering "Joy Opposites” and acoustic "Beautiful Son” beckon back to last year’s excellent Tides Of Tomorrow EP with their King Crimson-esque guitar washes. The nine-minute prog epic "Seafrost” swirls together all these elements into an enveloping tempest of emotion, battened down by Caleb Scofield’s foot-thick bass lines. The incredibly compelling single "Anchor” skims alongside new Queens Of The Stone Age or Foo Fighters but ultimately makes for a cooler ride with its more urgent chords and punky undertones. The gently brooding "Youth Overrided” resembles War-era U2 covering new-wavers the Psychedelic Furs, while "Breath Of Water” could easily be an outtake from the Jupiter sessions. A re-tooled version of "Lost In The Air” smoothes out the rough spots of the original (on last year’s Cave In EP), beefing up the choruses and finale by putting Brodsky’s vocals front and centre in the mix. Closing with the very Elliott-like "Woodwork,” Antenna (a limited edition is packaged with a bonus DVD full of videos, bios, and the bonus track "Day Trader”) meets then exceeds all expectations — and fears — of a major-label debut, effortlessly taking the number one album slot of the year. (BMG)