Cave In

Cave In

Antenna

RCA / BMG

2000’s Jupiter and this year’s Tides of Tomorrow EP both yielded high hopes for what Cave In would do on their major-label debut. Both releases served to label the band as one of the most promising acts for 2003. But Antenna, sadly, fails to live up to that promise. Commercially, this might not be true. But artistically, Antenna is more like a passage step for what may come later, rather than Cave In’s long-awaited masterpiece.

As most predicted, Antenna continues what their recent releases had begun, but sharpens the focus on melodies and accessibility, further distancing them from the hardcore band they started out as. It’s hard emo raised on a diet of The Bends-era Radiohead, huge melodies magnificently treated by Audioslave producer Rich Costey. Antenna, frankly, may be the best sounding album of the year. But that’s not to say it’s the best album. Far from it.

Cave In lacks the melodic depth to carry this thing to its fruition. There are several songs that could (and indeed, will) receive college airtime play, but beneath all the melodic glory there’s little to be found. There are the odd exceptions, where things seem to hang together more gracefully, and where the epic becomes meaningful and beautiful: “Joy Opposites” is massively wondrous, “Rubber and Glue” simply stunning. “Anchor” represents a standout moment, as does “Breath of Water.”

And maybe it’s to those songs we should look for the true essence of Cave In. Antenna’s finest moments come close to capturing what seems to be the band’s intentions, and those moments really whet one’s appetite for what will come next. Antenna may not be the monumental album some of us were hoping for, but we’re not giving up on them just yet.

RCA Records: http://www.rcarecords.com/

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