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Album Review

Antenna's first album is an experiment in guitar-pop, infusing former Blake Babies John Strohm and Freda Love's Boston brand of power pop with a Midwestern flavor courtesy of guitarist Vess Ruhtenberg and bassist Jake Smith. All four members have distinguished musical records outside of Antenna, and the competing strength of their musical personalities makes Sway sounds forced in some patches. But the record proves solid over its course, with forceful hooks battering their way into listeners' heads, and Strohm's personal lyrics giving the songs a comfortable edge. Ruhtenberg's one songwriting contribution, "Girl Who Fell To Earth" singlehandedly predicts his post-Antenna work with United States Three. Sway shows the band's aptitude for variations on a theme: the soft, soulful "Snakes," the funky "Say A Prayer" and wall-of-distorted-guitar closer "Blood Red" all have the same gorgeous power-pop feel.


Formed: 1991

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Although the Blake Babies broke up in early 1991, just as they seemed to be on the verge of success in the post-Nevermind alternative music scene, there were no underlying personality conflicts or artistic disagreements. John Strohm and Freda Love simply wanted to go home. The couple had moved to Boston from their native Indiana to attend the Berklee School of Music, but had gotten sidetracked when they formed the Blake Babies with singer/bassist Juliana Hatfield in 1987. Over the course of their...
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Sway, Antenna
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