|By Zach Patterson||Friday, 10 Jul 2009|
I have a noted soft spot for the kind of music that Crystal Antlers makes. The acid-dripped stoner rock vibe mixed in with tinges of 60′s psychedelia, something that bands like Comets On Fire have tapped since their formation, is perfect music to drive to, to kick back with a beer and relax to, or to hit up a small-time smoky bar and see live. Their debut EP is only 6 songs long, but packs a good variety and has been one of the most listened to albums in my collection this year. The album opens with the frantic, fast paced “Until the Sun Dies (Part Two)” that slowly rolls into a slower jam. You get a lot of what Crystal Antlers is all about here: the organ, the distressed and screamed vocals tearing through the music, some solid riffs, and then a big guitar squealing ending. Songs like “Vexation” and “Owl” show off some of the drummers great skills, while “A Thousand Eyes” is the band doing their best “this song could be from some late 60′s band dropping acid”. It’s definitely one of the better songs on the EP, take a listen for yourself above. It’s got a nice back and forth from the jarring and loud chorus parts to the melodic, emotive bridge. “Arcturus” is the heaviest song on the album, and perhaps come closest to the Comets on Fire sound. The singer’s voice is harsh and ragged as the music seems to spiral downward more and more furiously as the song goes on. Then the album ends with the best reason to buy the album, “Parting Song for the Torn Sky”. As soon as this song starts, you know what it’s gonna be about. You get the heavy stoner bass groove going, you see the song is 7 minutes long, and immediately it sounds like something out of the early Monster Magnet or Clutch catalog. Then the spastic guitars kick in, layered over with weedly weedly guitar licks, followed by the the singer piercing the music with his heavily reverbed and distorted vocals. This song is meant to be played in front of a live audience. If there’s any doubt on that, check out this awesome live performance from 2007: As the song nears the end, it just seems to continue to swell and hit even more of a fever pitch, until around the 6 min mark where you get an oddly soulful and controlled guitar solo to wind down the song and bring it back to controlled chaos. I highly recommend check out this EP, or at least the Youtube links above. This a pretty exciting band, and I plan on tackling their full length album debut sometime in the future. This EP is great though, every song is solid and the standout tracks are
simply amazing, and by no means should this be passed up.