Reviews Crystal Antlers Crystal Antlers

Crystal Antlers

Crystal Antlers

1. This is soundtrack music. I couldn’t hear it at all until I took a drive through the hills, windows down at night, blaring this EP to stay awake until I got home. I put it on because all I could hear in it was THE KIND OF SHIT TO WHICH YOU CANNOT FALL SLEEP. Which I more or less hold to. Pass out, maybe (empty Schlitz cans pushed aside just before the head hits the orange couch pillow), but not sleep. So on Crystal Antlers went and alive I stayed. The moon shone brightly through the open sunroof; my Accord jumped; paused; and dove through an interdimensional wormhole. Impassioned, incomprehensible screams, lumbering woolly mammoth tempos, and a twisting road prevented the EP from stealing the spotlight. But I quickly found out that Crystal Antlers set a scene with some of the best.

Unfortunately for this album: how often do you really get sent into midnight country? How often do you really want to feel like you’re driving Keanu Reeves to a drug sting? So I lost track of the record for a while.

What I had forgotten was the fact that I ALWAYS want to drive Keanu Reeves to a drug sting. At the very least, I want my mind to soar free among the bullshit-clouds at least once every few days. I couldn’t help but remember that fact when a friend sold me on a video game a little later. Just so there’s no confusion: computer games are for people who can’t read or exercise. But this one... let’s say I’m not focusing on reading or exercising lately. In any case, I don’t really do anything without music playing, and this EP presented itself pretty quickly as the soundtrack to my dragon-man’s daring deeds. So here we are again: I want to cut loose from the bounds of space and time, and I don’t mind doing it in embarrassing ways. On Crystal Antlers goes, alive I stay. Do I actually get to use the word epic? A pretty night, a curving road, and I am a detective; a dealer; a superhuman. Or I’m just playing a computer game, of all things the most embarrassing, but I’m on fire, I am winning, I am floating free of this laptop and these headphones and these absurd wastes of life. It helps that the lyrics are down nice and low in the mix.

2. This is a Doors’ album from the near future. That comes with a few things: excessive song-lengths, California-style self-absorption, and, well, organ-use. In addition: the creativity that comes from losing all fear of normality. Unfortunately, the future is not as cool as the past, and Crystal Antlers are not as good as the Doors. The glaring fact here is that there is no Jim Morrison. Jim, you will recall, just gloated over his songs. This guy mostly screams. Don’t get me wrong, dude has a very nice scream. More of a yell, really. Good and paranoid. But as unfair as this comparison is, the personality displayed here can’t hold a candle to the Lizard King. So maybe the Doors are a little bit too distant. How about: this is an honest-to-goodness California band. Californian In the sense that surfers are now aggressive bros instead of mellow goofballs. The silly percussion (there are two guys playing some form of drums), the interminable guitar solos, the overdramatic vocals, and yes, the organ, screams not just the Doors but bands like Sublime.

Now I was born there. But I left. So, as a fully integrated Oregonian, let me just say that California is romantic, absurd, arrogant, and unrepentant. So is this music. You play it when you want to convince yourself that bad idea isn’t so bad after all. You can’t really read to it (or, for that matter, write to it) but you can absolutely pretend to it, which is what soundtracks and Jim Morrison and California are for.

7.2 / 10Gluck
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Touch & Go

2008

7.2 / 10

7.2 / 10

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