Vegas-born, LA-based the Crystal Method
always got pegged as a Stateside answer to the Chemical Brothers.
If that's the case, it took the duo more than a decade to duplicate
the formula: booming 4/4 dance-worthy drug epiphanies with loads of
Very Special Guests. But duplicate it they have, and this time around
(with last year's uncharacteristically diverse Divided By Night)
that guest list more than helps renovate the sound-it completely
Over in the influences-on-sleeve aisle
is New Order's Peter Hook, contributing those high-necked Hooky bass
leads to “Dirty Thirty,” a chunk-style instrumental, and “Blunts
Justin Warfield's contribution, “Kling to the Wreckage,”
sounds destined for the next She Wants Revenge album, if he makes
one. It's so gosh-darned gothy it even opens with the couplet “This
is a sad day/the saddest day we've ever known.”
(ex-Grandaddy) whispers along with the blips and bleeps of “Slipstream,”
while Matisyahu nearly deifies “Drown in the Now,” though it veers
fairly far from old Crystal Method turf. LMFAO clearly has fun with
the silliness of “Since Language,” but elsewhere, the band appears
more interested in exploring a more pop-friendly vocal direction, not
always successfully. “Falling Hard,” for instance, is a mawkish
ballad that could almost be from Zero 7. Elsewhere, though, abound the
beats the Crystal Method is famous for.
From their L.A. studio, Scott
Kirkland and Ken Jordan recently submitted to a battery of nosy
OC Weekly: Is there one moment in time
you could pinpoint where the idea for the Crystal Method really
For me it was seeing Depeche Mode here in LA on the Violator tour,
which would have been summer of 1990. Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb, and
It always seems like there's
a lot of '80s industrial in there too.
We always listened to Cabaret Voltaire – that comes through in our
Their synths were always sliced up and edited in a very different
way. And we loved a lot of Front 242 as well!
Ah, yes. And obviously New
Order, which must have led to the Peter Hook collaboration?
Our managers are friends, so it's something we've been planning.
He came and played all day, and told stories…
What sort of stories?
He's a bloke you can have a beer with! Or he used to be. I think
he's sober now.
Just like Matisyahu!
We were playing different stages at a festival in Vancouver, and
visited our trailer. He came out during our set and did this impromptu
rap-thing, just totally spur-of-the-moment. We stayed in touch, and…
Scott Kirkland: …He could
have easily said “I can't do it, I don't have time.”
But we just sent him an instrumental and we loved what he did with it.
Scott Kirkland: Speaking of
the '80s, Matisyahu came up with some really great Thompson Twins
The Crystal Method perform on
July 15 at the Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa.