Tastemakers are split over these Long Beach, California-based psych-rockers and their debut long-play, Tentacles. Some reviewers and bloggers insist that the album picks up precisely where the band's self-released, untitled EP (2008) left off — namely, in a state of feverish musical ass-kicking. Others suggest that the speedier Tentacles backtracks a smidge — that it's the work of a talented noise-prog-punk sextet that hasn't quite learned to synthesize and studio-ize the expansive magic of its live shows. However, on one particular issue, all parties concur: In the wake of Crystal Castles, the Crystal Method, Crystal Gayle, et al., Crystal Antlers is a crap handle for a band. "Oh, shit . . . I might have to listen to a band with 'crystal' in its name," one unnamed poster lamented after reading a favorable online review of Tentacles. "Gonna be hard to come to terms with that." Hmm, maybe. Remember, some of us had to suffer the "Jesus" band-name craze of the early '90s, which meant finding a way to give The Jesus Lizard a fair shake during the heyday of Jesus Jones. Now that was like walking on water.
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