Their website claims that the debut record from Sweden's Antennas (formerly Novak) reflects the music from the 1980s and 1990s in which they grew up, but it may well be closer to the synth pop sensibilities producer Giorgio Moroder popularized in the late 1970s as he worked his way out of disco toward new wave. The ten songs on this record are built on synthetic plink-plink-plinky sounds, around which alternating conventional rock guitars, bursts of energetic drumming, and electronic distortion are juxtaposed with the organic sounds of pianos, strings, or horns. Eschewing conventional song structures, Antennas favor recurring motifs and unexpected transitions, the songs shift more than they build. Despite the variety of instruments, the sound is relatively sparse, leaving the focus on idiosyncratic vocals a listener will either adore or tire of quickly. There are a lot of interesting qualities here and some stand out tracks, but as a whole it wears thin too long before the end.
- Nancy Baym