Top 10 of 2011 (So Far) #3

Crystal Antlers
Two-Way Mirror

When it comes to post-punk and music in general, what are the two things you should look for above all else? The first would be overall artistry, the willingness to experiment and have the talent and moxie to back it up, the ability to set oneself aside in an era of cookie-cutter entertainment where everything new is merely a variant on the successful endeavors of others dressed up in some new clothes. The second quality, equally difficult to come across, is genuine and pure energy – a passion for what you are doing, intensity and vigor so powerful that it both conveys the message and moves the recipient. You would be hard pressed to find an album released this year that brings a more unique and firm blend of these two characteristics than Crystal Antlers’ sophomore album Two-Way Mirror. Yes, it largely leaves behind the insane organ that was the calling card of their debut, Tentacles, but in doing so it allows every other part to shine more vividly. Jonny Bell’s unmistakeable vocals and unsurpassed ardor gets to come to the forefront, where once it may have been overshadowed by the sometimes-chaotic arrangements of their first LP. It is still wildly experimental and vibrantly loud and a great representation of the best that garage rock has to offer.

Favorite Tracks:
“Séance”
“Fortune Telling”
“Knee Deep”

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