The Crystal Method – Tweekend
July 31, 2001
What It Sounds Like: They’re certainly an electronic duo on their face, but The Crystal Method also blend in rock and alternative dance beats to their tracks, making their second record (it’s now twelve years old!), Tweekend, anything but a simple EDM disc.
To be fair, I am not well versed in electronic music. It’s a subculture that has always escaped me. It’s not that I necessarily have anything against the sound, but ever since I saw that video of Swedish House Mafia’s Steve Angello playing Dance Valley 2011 and doing practically nothing onstage except hype the huge crowd he was DJing for – it just took the wind out of my sails. The whole debate between what an actual DJ does and how he (or she) can fake it – it just kind of makes the whole thing blank for me.
But that’s simply the reason I don’t know a ton about the culture. I can appreciate a good beat the same as the next guy.
The Crystal Method and the current likes of EDM music are two completely different things. This record rocks, and has much more in common with the likes of The Prodigy than anything current. It’s not all shiny synths, lasers, and “drop the beat” commands. I mean, Rage Against The Machine’s ultra-famous Tom Morello brings his guitar work to the second track, Wild Sweet And Cool. You think David Guetta is gonna have him guest on his newest record? I didn’t think so either.
For some individual tracks, Murder is awesome. The beat keeps steady, and the guitars and keys intermix so well that you can barely tell them apart at times, and this isn’t a bad thing. It’s gritty and energetic without being in-your-face overpowering – I’ve run to this before, and that ending always gives me the extra push I need to finish. Now listen to me – if you aren’t sold yet, and the industrial breakbeat overtones of The Winner, or the 90s pop of Ten Miles Back, or the chilled-out, steady electro of Over The Line still aren’t doing it for you – check out the star of the show – Name Of The Game. With its pulsing breathy echos, rap/rock verses, and outer space keyboards, it’s the sure-fire hit of the record. It also includes one of the few acceptable, while still being completely irrelevant, uses of heavy profanity in music. Halfway through the song, the volume comes down to a standstill, and we begun our assent up the hill of power and intensity. Three-quarters of the way through, we reach the summit of the volcano, and as an asexual voice drops this profane word, the volcano erupts, and the beat explodes. It’s a perfect execution. Plus, if you’ve never seen the video, it without a doubt deserves a watch. I want to tell you what’s so unique about it, but just nose that you’ll have to see it for yourself to appreciate it.
Yes. I know that there is something wrong with that last sentence.
If you had to listen to two tracks: Name Of The Game / Over The Line