Nothing Is Real - INNOVATIVE LEISURE
FILTER Grade: 80%
By Adam Valeiras on November 20, 2013
With each subsequent release, Long Beach–bred Crystal Antlers have refined and reduced, grown more self-aware and gradually traded chaos for structure and coherence. One could say the band are on a general trajectory towards “maturity”…whatever that word may suggest. This is the natural tendency, an inevitability, and almost without falter induces a polarizing effect. Do we, the fans, want the bands we love to change, to develop? Crystal Antlers body of work is rooted in their exciting, thrashingly beautiful spontaneity. From their initial EP to Tentacles, and then the more meticulous Two-Way Mirror, these guys have thrown around wild, relentless post-punk riffs, instruments always shockingly in sync. This new full-length backseats that madness-equals-genius sentimentality and turns the same song platforms into relatively traditional compositions. Still, the band members’ talents rise to the top, making Nothing Is Real a serious mark for Crystal Antlers, if it’s not their high-water.