Reviews: Crystal Antlers, The Borderline, Jan 27th 09

So last night my ears were perhaps irreversibly damaged by the prog rock noise of Crystal Antlers who are out on the road for their first European tour. They played as part of a monthly club Uncut night which last month featured the entirely less noisy Department Of Eagles. The main support slot this evening was filled by another California band Delta Spirit, who were a strange choice. They are undoubtedly talented musicians and singer Matthew Vasquez possesses one hell of powerful, throaty voice but their big sounding almost Springsteen like rock songs were an odd precursor for what was to come.

Crystal Antlers take the stage to an only two thirds full Borderline this evening but it seems enough for them, after all  this is their first time in the UK and they have only released one EP so it’s not a bad start.

They begin as they mean to go on with a ferocious instrumental number very much reminiscent of The Mars Volta and At The Drive In (Ikey Owens of Mars Volta produced their EP so perhaps no surprises here).  Yet at this stage they seem to lack something that made those bands more than just great jam bands. The one exception is EP standout track ‘A Thousand Eyes’ (video I shot above) which is a great song and encompasses everything they do right. It’s early days for this band and I hope that they can build on songs like this in the future.

Crystal Antlers @ Borderline, Jan 27th 09 by N Whitcomb

Crystal Antlers no.2 @ Borderline, Jan 27th 09 by N Whitcomb

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