The Antiques are the musically serene country cousins of the raunchy Americana-fuelled folk-rock sound brought to the indie stage by bands like My Morning Jacket and the Kings of Leon. As with their contemporaries, this California quartet’s influences are not hard to find, with echoes of Neil Young and the Band resounding everywhere on the full-length debut Nicknames and Natives. With pleasant songs that gently roll along buoyed by quivering pedal steel, sweet soaring lead vocals, and drop-in backing that provides the seemingly spontaneous down-home harmonies, there’s definitely nothing to dislike, but then, there’s nothing to get really excited about either. The strongest tracks come at the beginning in the moody, country-rock reflection of “Down to No. County”, followed by the garage-blues of “Pigless”, bringing to mind those Detroit reprobates the White Stripes. After this, however, one jaunty, melodious number melts into the next until you wish that the pace and mood would vary just a little more often.
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