Album review for The Skinny
In the endlessly cyclical history of popular music, psychedelic rock has mostly been left to gather dust in record shops. There have been isolated attempts to revive the genre from bands like Comets on Fire and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, but nothing like a concerted revival. Crystal Antlers could well be the band to trigger it. Continuing where their acclaimed EP left off, Tentacles is a blistering onslaught of splashy organ, tangential guitar solos and Jonny Bell’s howling vocals. Despite their adoption of late-60s modes, the latest ‘crystal’-prefixed band do more than perform CPR on a half-dead musical corpse. Andrew, for instance, begins on a Van Morrison-style blues refrain before plunging into a double-speed punk frenzy, while Memorized is a pained, exhilarating track that encroaches on the far-out territory of the Mars Volta. Unlike their indulgent forebears, Crystal Antlers refract psychedelic rock through the prism of punk, adding plenty of soul in the process.
Crystal Antlers play Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh on 18 May and Stereo, Glasgow on 19 May.
Stay tuned for an interview with Crystal Antlers frontman Jonny Bell next week.