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ZZ Top - Antenna album review

ZZ try to return to their roots. Kind of

Cover art for ZZ Top - Antenna album

Released back in early 1994 as the band’s debut on RCA, Antenna was meant to be some kind of renaissance for this little ol’ band from Texas, in that it supposedly upped the raw blues rock feel that had been increasingly missing from their preceding albums and dialled back the synths and electronic production trickery.

While the former is fairly accurate, it’s a shame the latter isn’t truer. Stripping the sound back, guitarist Billy Gibbons does indeed pile on the dirty blues riffs, but there is still an overbearing tendency towards unnecessary cyber-meddling with Dusty Hill’s bass and Frank Beard’s drums – Antenna Head sounds like he’s hitting the proverbial biscuit tins with knitting needles, if indeed he’s playing at all. Ultimately, however, what really hampers this album is a simple lack of outstanding tunes.

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.