Antennas to Heaven

The Line Between Myth and Reality Has Always Been in Finland

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Naming a band after part of a title of a Godspeed You Black Emperor! album is definitely one way to tip one's hat (as is having a title that rivals some of the Canadian group's in terms of length). But while various points on Antennas to Heaven's debut certainly resemble Godspeed, on balance the group has a different aim -- less huge sweeping epics and more of a roughly blissed out cascade, dramatic but in a more concise fashion. Much like many 21st century shoegaze groups the band identifies that it's not just the prettiness or the volume that makes the guitar wash work -- it's the sense of mystery and envelopment, the step beyond simply stepping on a pedal for a chorus. The close, immediate feeling of songs like "Redlight" has the feeling of a lo-fi bedroom recording, whispered, somewhat elfin vocals, slightly bled-into-red levels on the main riff, a willingness to not be "perfect." That nearly all the lyrics are spoken word deliveries rather than sung parts is another distinct, intriguing touch. On the flipside, much of the album feels more like a series of moments and sketches rather than strong individual songs, though it does all add up to a very enjoyable listen by the end. It's also still a debut beholden to easily audible sources of inspiration throughout, from My Bloody Valentine to Flying Saucer Attack to Mogwai, but definitely one of promise, and at its most aspirational, like on "Mallows" and "Hunting," is truly a beautiful listen. Best song title -- "This Bloody Tarkhovsky Film."

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