Sensible Antenna – Ruster
Every time a musical artist gets significant success, the record hounds try to sniff something vaguely similar to sign and mold them into an image resembling that of their golden goose. Strangely, the more the imitators pile up, the more aggressive and knuckleheaded their performances usually get.
Grunge music, and the other guitar-rock styles developed around the same period, were usually created by thoughtful men and women who wouldn’t sacrifice their souls and ideas for mere sonic assaults. Clearly, the post-grunge groups specializing in motor breath yarling didn’t get the memo.
Sensible Antenna is drawing their inspiration from the artsy roots that inspired the original grunge groups. Like Scott Weiland’s vision of Stone Temple Pilots, Sensible Antenna are art-punks at their core. On Ruster they showcase just enough of an ear for catchy melodies to whisk past competitors dreaming of golden swimming pools, bags of cash, and parties on Kid Rock’s private yacht.
Spirit Award – Cocaine Glasses
“It seemed liked a good idea at the time.” Many stories from the rock world ended with these precise words or something quite similar. The mad parties, and the casualties that followed, all of which are part of rock lore, certainly included a fair deal of spontaneity and naivety.
Not enough gets written about the shakes, the brain fog, and, occasionally, the broken bones that follow too much of a good time. Spirit Award’s Cocaine Glasses sounds tense and paranoid, like an almost washed-up Hollywood actor getting ready to board a plane to some exotic location where they’ll get paid millions of dollars to play a bit part in some movie he hasn’t bothered reading the script for.
Spirit Award’s boogie is a distant cousin of Ty Segal’s music, a reinterpretation of psychedelic and garage rock in the most direct, visceral kind of way. In a world where pop music production rules over the airwaves with a dictator’s iron fist, it’s only natural that many would respond to this kind of natural demonstration of restraint.