This two-disc Godspeed You Black Emperor tour de force is considered something of a milestone of the post-rock age. The first disc opens with slowly drifting ambient droning, which gradually begets mournful strings and a distant, pitch-shifted evangelical sermon before an increasingly ominous thudding rock beat, guitars, glockenspiel, distortion, and bass come spiraling in to break things up for an ever-tightening crescendo. The following piece, "Static," is marked by the early arrival of a hauntingly sad melody (yes, an actual melody), followed by slowly accelerating beats and the ghost of a dying bagpipe--one of Emperor's truly majestic moments--which later segues into shopping announcements and more treated distortion.
The second disc starts off with a sample of an old man reminiscing about the long-lost glory days of Coney Island. The music coasts on through the ashes of time from there, drifting with swooping guitars that sound like Yma Sumac vocals, building into crescendo after crescendo, with drums increasing, pounding, and expiring. The last track kicks off with some bluesy folk crooning that then dissolves into an evaporating haze of strings and guitars. By turns operatic, rocked-out, and mournfully apocalyptic, ANTENNAS conjures deep emotions, landscapes, and even socio-political commentary, and some might sincerely argue that it also makes wonderful housecleaning music.
Spin (12/00, pp.220-222) - 8 out of 10 - "...An emotionally stirring achievement....camping out around a couple of notes, chugging leisurely...toward a cacophonous climax..."
Q (7/01, p.87) - Included in Q's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time".
Q (12/00, p.122) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Orchestral rock elegies...laced with glockenspiels and violins, and bolstered by thunderous drums and scalding guitars....compelling..."
Magnet (1-2/01, p.45) - Included in Magnet's "20 Best Albums of 2000" - "...The music on this double album is very nearly larger than life..."
Magnet (1-2/01, pp.90,92) - "...This isn't your father's prog....An exquisitely constructed sound with a sharp punk edge and an anarchist's ear for chaos. High-concept in a Moby kind of way..."
The Wire (10/00, p.66) - "...[They] disperse through snippets of Coney Island nostalgia, a shopgirl peptalk, an infirm preacher and an ill-tempered, indeterminate buzz drowning in poorly tuned radio static...The improvising...falling within the beat parameters..."
Muzik (11/00, p.121) - 3 out of 5 - "...Impressively ambitious and stupefyingly pompous, it's the perfect antidote to such lickspittle reactionary fripperies as fun or sex."
CMJ (10/30/00, p.5) - "...Evokes thundering waves, sky-shattering storms and other preternatual events of Biblical proportions..."
NME (Magazine) (12/30/00, p.78) - Ranked #16 in NME's "Top 50 Albums Of The Year".
NME (Magazine) (10/14/00, p.40) - 9 out of 10 - "...Extraordinarily powerful and beautiful music....It's a world where ever-spiraling crescendos are detonated by 9 musicians..."