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  Wardrobe For A Jet Weekend  
  The Young Antiques  
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To some extent, The Young Antiques defy categorization, combining classic garage rock, post-punk, and country (among other styles). Other minons have called them "derivative" of bands like The Replacements. Local legend has it that if you ask the band to describe itself, they will say, "Eurocanapowerpop." Yes, that's sort of a combination of 60's-style Euro-pop, Americana-pop, and power-pop. Perhaps, then, one could say that the overall theme here is pop. They certainly are poppy, with catchy melodies, wailfully strong vocals, and lyrics that alternate between wise social commentary and Friday night high school heartache. Even so, I don't think they're ready for Kasey Casem just yet, or more accurately, I don't think American mainstream radio is ready for them. Guitar rock on Top 40 radio is still too mired in the mourn(moan)fully bland, pseudo-spiritualized epics of Creed and the hostile rap metal of Linkin Park to welcome the 3-minute gritty and cynical songs of The Young Antiques.

But, I think their day may be coming: more than just about any local band I've heard over the last year or so, The Young Antiques' sound immediately grabs the listener, both at live shows and on Wardrobe For A Jet Weekend, their first full-length release. Recorded in 2000, only two years after the band's formation, the album is surprisingly tight, offering short and powerful tunes with both a rock edge and a danceable beat. Perhaps that's because the band got off to a promising start by recording an EP, On a Beach On a Mountain, in just three days shortly after they formed in 1997.

Because the band is only a trio, their live shows are often garage parties with a lot of sound but little complexity. The album, on the other hand, hints of the band's eclectic tastes and talents, including harmonicas, e-bow, and even toy piano. On standout tunes like Bad Lucky Street, tambourine rhytmns add another layer of emphasis to an already driving, staccato chorus. Other songs like Missing Man and The Last Thing include straight-out guitar riffs, drum rolls, and angry lyrics. On the other hand, Bury Me Down is a small town ditty that highlights the band's country influence with great pick work on the dobro. After a close listen, you understand how the band can defy categorization.

You know, Wardrobe For A Jet Weekend really is roots rock with pop and a couple of twists -- nothing earth shattering, no great musical inventions. Even though it may not be rocket science, I like this album. Few indie rock bands include enough emotive lyrics, interesting combinations of strings, and a constant bopping beat to withstand my "workout" test: I can take this CD to the gym and walk the treadmill for a full 30 minutes without having to skip a song. Hey, if you can sweat to it at the gym and then listen to it in the car on the way home, it's gotta be pretty good.

Related Links:

A review of On A Beach On A Mountain, their debut EP.


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