Long Beach’s Crystal Antlers‘ name has always suggested a delicate balance between a potential shattering and a glistening goring…a kind of “walking contradiction.”
Having built a rep on a sound that was as psych-garage as it was snarling, it was hard to tell if they’re punks who wanna be hippies or hippies playing at being punk, but they’ve toured the coast in a bus powered by vegetable oil and were the last band to put out a new record on classic indie label Touch and Go.
Art punk dudes Raymond Pettibon and C.R. Stecyk III have created cover art for their albums and legend has it that their first 7″ was funded by a bank robber.
Regardless of absurdities and tall tales, Crystal Antlers have found a home in L.A.’s finest new independent and supporter of new local acts, Innovative Leisure. Home to Hanni El-Khatib, Classixx, Nosaj Thing and The Allah-Las, the label fosters community and a safe haven for artists to create whatever they want to create.
“Nothing is Real” is Crystal Antlers‘ newest album and pretty immediately into a first listen you realize it pogos and ticks with the fitful collegiate punk energy of early Dinosaur Jr., the Pixies or The Replacements.
But Crystal Antlers also know the power of the slow burn and “Nothing is Real” has moments that are as sweetly plaintive as it is raucous, sometimes within the same song. (See: “Pray“)
Whatever you know and want Crystal Antlers to be, they’ll be that.
But, then also they won’t. And it’s good.