There are moments on Tentacles where Crystal Anters lose their chaotic experimental flare so rampant on their debut, self-titled EP from last year. It was a trait that earned them much awareness in tunes like “A Thousand Eyes” and, my personal favorite, “Parting Song For The Torn Sky”. The good news is that Tentacles succeeds in achieving a similarly high status. Songs like “Andrew” are instantly recognizable as cutting edge and, as opposed to the EP, even dabble in psychedelia.
It’s odd, this dissolution of experimentation in such songs, especially for those who had Crystal Anters EP on repeat for weeks on end last year. But even these tunes include the scream-ridden angst in the vocals, and they’re accompanied by intensely experimental tracks like “Dust” and the delicious “Until The Sun Dies (Part 1)” and wild title track, “Tentacles”. These tunes match that EP in volume, featuring erratic guitar solos and various shifts in time.
Where Crystal Antlers succeed the most can be divided into one of two categories. They either excel at 1) taking chaos and forming a cohesive on-the-edge sort of order, or 2) taking order to the edges of sanity. Compound all these elements on top of one another and you have one phenomenal album. Tentacles exceeds expectations, and while no song (yet) really tops “Parting Song For The Torn Sky”, there is plenty of chaotic solos, and emotive screams to keep this reviewer satiated yet hungry for more.
Touch And Go Records [CD, 2009]
1. Painless Sleep
3. Time Erased
5. Vapor Trail
7. Until the Sun Dies (Part One)
10. Foot of the Mountain
11. Your Spears
12. Swollen Sky
13. Several Tongues