Nü Tracks — Crystal Antlers

"Little Sister" was a song by Queens of the Stone Age on Lullabies to Paralyze, which marked the first point at which you can stop caring about Queens of the Stone Age. "Little Sister" is good and all, but it lost the grit and tenacity that shone through Homme's earlier compositions.

So then I give a big WTF to Crystal Antlers, who just released two new tracks on their website in anticipation of their upcoming album. One of the two is named "Little Sister," and it's a drastic departure from their gritty and tenacious styles of yore ("yore" being, you know, less than three years ago). Crystal Antlers were one of the most violent bands around, and played one of the most frenetic sets I've ever seen anyone play to 25 people at six in the evening on a Tuesday. But I think it was obvious their melodies lost a lot of people in their ferocity (like I said, no more than 25 people for a show that cost $5 and included free pizza), and if this is the kind of shift they have to do every now and then to make a living then I can deal with it. After all, these guys literally funded their music by working as chimney sweeps, and it's nice to see less residual ash caked in their instruments.

The keyboardist from the Mars Volta was a major player on their first album, Tentacles, and it was pretty apparent. They were neighbors in California, I guess, and he produced the album, I think (no time for fact checking). The fluttering keys and aimless guitar sprawls beat you over the head with Mars Volta influence, but the point was that everything beat you over the head.

They still suspend chords in space, but it's less of a forced, quasi-art affair this time, invoking more Band of Horses or Shins than Mars Volta, to their credit. A band so hell-bent on tearing shit up needs to calm down every once in a while so as not to run straight through a record without accomplishing any goals. But they're still too garish to capture Band of Horses' poignancy or fragility, and if their new album is comprised of nothing but songs like this, I'm going to be very, very disappointed.

And just saying: This photo on The Fader shows a picture with a woman not previously in the band. I'm not one to point fingers, but I am noticing a common denominator.

No comments:

Post a Comment