Boomkat Product Review:
Just as there had been a cluster of 'Wolf' bands (Wolf Eyes, Wolf Parade AIDS Wolf, etc) and then 'Knife' bands (Young Knives, Religious Knives, The Knife) the 'Crystal' boom of recent years has brought us a slew of hype-accumulating bands, namely Crystal Castles, Crystal Stilts and perhaps the greatest of these, Crystal Antlers. The Southern Californian psych rockers have their craft nailed down firmly on this debut album, which itself follows on from the tremendously energised debut EP. The best tracks here fuse the conventional routines of howled vocals and clamorous guitar vs. drums face-offs with almost Keith Emerson-like organ assaults. All of this comes together memorably and soulfully on tracks like 'Andrew', 'Swollen Sky' and 'Memorized', with production aesthetics that tint the whole enterprise with a late-'60s/early-'70s vintage quality. Wigging out is by no means off the agenda, but when the band do stray into a skronky solo sequence you're never struck by a sense of over-indulgence but rather the sheer explosive fun of it all. There's always enough song content to counteract the band's wilder, digressive urges and although Tentacles is by no means as tight and snappy as the EP it offers a much broader picture of Crystal Antlers' capabilities as a band.