Crystal Antlers | Crystal Castles [Black Crystal Bands, Part 9]

First up in the ‘Crystal’ band category is the Long Beach, CA based group, Crystal Antlers, whose hard core psyche rock sound certainly puts my preconceived notion of all ‘Crystal’ bands as Indie Pop rockers to shame. The indie rock music world has been buzzing about their self-released, eponymous EP. The band has received many comparisons to Les Savy Fay. Check out the featured track, A Thousand Eyes.

Crystal Castles, however, falls squarely into my 80s synthpop stereotype. This Toronto-based group is all synthesizers and drum machines . Their self-titled debut album is a bits and bytes bump and grind fest. Featured track, Courtship Dating.

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Trendspotting: Black Crystal Bands

Scrolling through my music library recently – in alphabetical order of course – it became apparent to me that if you want to be a hip, cutting edge indie rock artist, you should insert the word ‘black’ or ‘crystal’ into your band name somewhere.  There have been three debut LP/EPs from Crystal bands alone this year:  Crystal Antlers, Crystal Stilts and Crystal Castles.  Not to mention the bevy of ‘black’ dubbed bands with new albums out like Black Angels, Black Keys and Black Mountain to name a few.

Personally, I find myself more drawn to the ‘black’ bands as these groups tend to be of a more dark and moody ilk. (You know, the kind that attracts a predominately male audience.)  For some reason, whenever I free associate ‘crystal’ bands, my mind immediately goes to 80s synthpop.  I just can’t help it.  I’m very judgmental toward the ‘crystal’ set.  Is this fair?  Is there any relevant basis for me to draw such a biased conclusion?  And why is there no band named Black Crystal yet?

Welcome to the first OCMD Trendspotting series – Black Crystal Bands– where I’ll explore some of the new emerging artists in this category (read: no Black Crowes, Black Sabbath, etc.), attempt to answer some of these questions, and hopefully turn you on to some great new music in the process!

I’ve got at least 10 bands to tackle in this series, but I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and additions of other worthy bands I may have missed.  

Tune in tomorrow for The Black Angels.