Thursday, February 7, 2008

CRYSTAL ANTLERS record review

Crystal Antlers Until the Sun Dies/Swamp Song 7-inch review, LA Weekly

Crystal Antlers | "Until the Sun Dies"/"Swamp Song" | BackFlip Records 7-inch

The A-side of Crystal Antlers' newest release, "Until the Sun Dies," is the safer of these two songs — it sticks more to a dirty-guitar-dominant form with front man-bassist Jonny Bell's vocals switching between the larkish and the belted; it is the B-side's "Swamp Song" that really tears up and showcases exactly what Bell and his bandmates have to offer: unashamed, unafraid, gritty hot-mess melodies that take cues from the Stooges, Joe Cocker, Screamin' Jay Hawkins (rest his soul) and Ozzy Osbourne. "Swamp Song" begins in the midst of a high-intensity power-chord argument taking place "under moldy green, downstream, and under willow trees" between Bell and an unknown second party over the apparent state of his soul; after two minutes, the song builds to a deceptive cadence and dumps out after the break with an Aleister Crowley organ and bass line that hones Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi's work on Sabbath's "Electric Funeral" (and many other Black Sabbath songs from 1970 or '71). But the Antlers aren't really a heavy metal band. Our generation browsed in haberdasheries of vintage and contemporary influences, and Crystal Antlers are no exception to this stylistic conglomeration. A young band based out of Long Beach with only two 7-inch releases under their belt, Crystal Antlers have displayed prowess that has propagated support from erudite local media (District Weekly, L.A. Record) and will be graciously blowing their hot mess all over the northern stretches of the Southland to ring in 2008.

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