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Antigone Rising

Traveling Circus

Review by Gary Hill

If you are a fan of classic rock, this album should be of interest to you. Antigone Gone lays down their own blend that at times calls to mind such diverse acts as Cream, The Allman Brothers, Joan Jett, The Who, The Ramones, the Cranberries and even the Dixie Chicks. They manage to weave all of these influences into a sound that is all their own, and quite entertaining. Although a lot of the press you read on this (all female - seems to be an important point in many reviews, but I don't know why) band mention their lead singer Cassidy sounding like Janis Joplin. Really, I only heard that in a couple places on the disc, and wonder if maybe that comparison is just the easy one to gravitate to for a reviewer who didn't give enough time to really absorb the album. This band has their own sound. Make no mistake, they draw from a lot of sources for inspiration, but in the end this is all Antigone Rising. They have recently signed to Lava Records, this disc was released on an independent label, and I would bet that the higher profile label will mean that we will be hearing a lot from this talented band. This live album might be a great place to turn to prepare yourself for the coming of Antigone Rising.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Goin' Down
After the announcement, "prepare for take off", an acoustic guitar begins. This carries through for a time with some accents of electric guitar until the bluesy vocal line enters, and the song proper is underway. This comes across as a slow, bluesy mellow rocker for quite a while. Eventually a very gradual build up, both in terms of pace and power comes in with the chorus reborn. A "Wipe Out"-like drum solo heralds the new fast paced jam that serves both to end this cut and segue into the next.
This is a high energy rocker that has definite classic rock tinged hooks. It is a strong, but generic number. It does, though, include a cool bridge based on Latin rhythmic patterns. Another interesting change is a sing-along section where the guitar solos all over the background of the vocal line.
This is another that shows off strong classic rock leanings, and the guitar solo that runs all around the intro is especially tasty. It drops to a slower, sparse arrangement that feels a bit like a harder-edged Indigo Girls, then the chorus jumps in with a rather southern rock texture. Once again, the guitar soloing is meaty and oh so cool. The vocal arrangement on this one is especially intriguing.
New Jersey
Based on a rather bouncy groove, this is another straight-ahead rocker.
Story Book Romance
This is one of the hardest rocking cuts on the CD, feeling a lot like Cream meets the Allman Brothers and Big Brother and the Holding Company with even a little Who and Ramones thrown in for good measure.
What would you get if Alanis Morrisette, The Cranberries and the Dixie Chicks were to record a ballad together? The odds are it would sound a lot like the first sections of this song. The balladic movement here becomes very evocative and potent. After an instrumental break, the piece turns into a hard-edged electric version of itself. This gets quite powerful, and is the strongest track on the album, the band taking a fairly basic structure and turning it into a killer jam.
Push It
This one starts quite punky, and, in fact, feels a lot like it would have fit into the more rock and roll parts of the repertoire of a lot of 1970's punk bands. Perhaps even Joan Jett might have done a number like this in one of her more adventurous periods This is one of the points of the album where the vocals do, in fact, call to mind Janis Joplin.
Buying Bridges
This is a more thoughtful, acoustically driven number, and another that feels a bit like the Indigo Girls. It has some great guitar work.
Rock and Roll
On Antigone Rising's take of this Led Zeppelin classic they play it pretty faithfully, and put in quite a competent rendition.
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