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Antigone Rising

Whiskey & Wine Vol. I – 2014 (Meryl)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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New Jersey alt.-country band Antigone Rising's five-song EP "Whiskey & Wine Vol I" lacks the sass, rebelliousness and message that they apparently hope to channel through Antigone, the legendary Greek female character considered to be one of the world's first feminists.

Oh, the album gets loud, all right. And with cuts like the title track and "Call Me Crazy," you'd guess that the all-girl band is as hard-edged as any country band, male or female.

Perhaps that's not their goal. Still, the majority of songs ring somewhat hollow. The opening cut, "Everything Changes," and "Call Me Crazy" reveal the lack of compelling harmonies the band possesses. We're not looking for Dolly, Linda and Emmylou here or even sister act Carter's Chord. But lead vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Nini Camps, lead guitarist/singer Cathy Henderson and bassist, vocalist Kristen Ellis lack that catchy singalong factor. "Everything Changes" song also drags on for five-plus minutes with Henderson's whiny, pointless guitar solo that probably plays well live, but serves no purpose on a studio version.

"Get to You" is by far the best song. The songwriting drives home the longing of a love done gone and the harmonies are tight and timely as Henderson's lead guitar percolates beneath. And give Camps credit; lead writing chores are all hers, as are lead vocals. And she produced it too.

There's really nothing unique here. Girls have done everything before Antigone Rising. If they're hoping to carry the torch, great. If they want to bend genres, awesome. But their current brand of alt-pop-country isn't bridging previous generations to the next.