This Week in Moony Brands of Pop for Quasi-Emo Crowds

Crystal Skulls

As if the delicate singing and dreamy guitar lines weren't enough, Crystal Skulls upped the fey factor even further on their debut album, Blocked Numbers, when front man Christian Wargo slinged that most stinging of slanderous labels: "hussy." That's part of the record's charm, though, and it works well with the band's ultra-light blend of Smiths, Spoon and Strokes nods.

Wargo remains content as the smart, sensitive guy who's got a way with words, instead of playing the role of the snooty rock star on their second LP, Outgoing Behavior, due in April. He spends the entirety of "Brigantine Castles" describing the salty air and crashing waves that frame a boardwalk romance: "It's good to be here this time each year/Candy apple smiles sticking to leather in this sort of weather/When there always seems to be a line." Sure the rhymes seem to be a tad too simple, but lyrics slip off Wargo's tongue so smoothly we hardly notice until we see them written out.

"The Cosmic Door," the first single off Outgoing Behavior, is as gently wistful as "Hussy": After exchanging glances with a cute girl—but failing to get her name before she's vanished—he muses, "Maybe she fell into another dimension/Maybe she blew away when wind changed direction."

Playing on a bill with three acts that have much bigger followings, Crystal Skulls are the underdogs of Thursday's show. But hopefully they'll score some new fans while teasing out their moony brand of pop to a quasi-emo crowd—that is, if their songs don't blow away when wind changes direction.

Crystal Skulls perform with Minus the Bear, the Appleseed Cast and Rocky Voltolato at the Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona; www.theglasshouse.us. Thurs., March 9, 7 p.m. $12-$14. All ages.

 
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