CRYSTAL ANTLERS – Tentacles (2009)

Crystal Antlers - Tentacles I avoided listening Crystal Antlers’ debut EP last year solely because the band name sounded too similar to Crystal Castles, a band whom I loathe with the core of my being. But given that Crystal Antlers’ first full-length, Tentacles is (presumably) the last album to be released by Touch and Go Records (who announced earlier this year that they’re going to cease releasing new music and downsize the amount of distribution that they do), I have no choice but to listen, if for nothing else than to pay my respects to the label and the influence it has had on the independent music scene over the years.

So, while Tentacles may contextually feel like attending a wake, the music on it sounds nothing one (though there is a hefty amount of organ). It’s an album that’s brimming with passionate energy; when it’s in high-gear (which is where it resides most of the time), the band sounds as though they’re pitting their keyboards up against their punk aesthetics in a UFC bout (and no one’s winning it). And while the band’s musical approach (think The Doors on speed) is, more often than not, exhilarating, they sometimes get a little too carried away, and let their music get away from them (like the contestant on The Price Is Right who is so happy to be called upon that s/he forgets to breathe). And when they lose control of it, we start to lose interest. Still, it’s great hear a band that’s capable of both A) aiming for the fences, all the time, and B) being able to reach them almost every time it counts.

I’d recommend Tentacles to anyone who’d like an alternative to the laughably insipid Wavvves. Crystal Antlers make music that’s fun and noisy, and that proves the spirit will always trump production. Always. The album is certain to go along way with a lot of people, but for some, Tentacles will be too much. But it’s worth taking the risk.

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4 Responses to “CRYSTAL ANTLERS – Tentacles (2009)”

  1. Noooo! What’s there to dislike about Crystal Castles?

  2. monopolyphonic Says:

    As much as I tired, I can’t get into them. I just find their entire analog v. digital approach to be too sterile.

    Adventure’s eponymous debut (which was released last year, and, in my opinion, was sorely overlooked) is something I much prefer. It’s an entire album of 8-bit dance music, and it’s pretty much all synths (save for a few samples). It’s an incredibly fun and playful album to listen to, neither of which were feelings that Crystal Castles left me with.

  3. keleighwolf Says:

    Can you use game show analogies to review *all* albums? Because that was well executed, sir.

  4. […] (the stabbing, pre-Moon and Antarctica Modest Mouse guitar twitches in Answer To Yourself, the Crystal Antlers-rivaling organ blizzard in Move Along). Bear in mind that none of this is excessive – indeed, […]

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