The Crystal Method
Legion of Boom
Artist: The Crystal Method
CD Title: Legion of Boom
Label: V2 Records
I have always dug The Crystal Method. They seem
always to be able to pull in the biggest drum
and biggest bass sounds and combine them with
the catchiest riffs and sing along voice
samples. This CD is no different, but it is. The
Crystal Method seems to have gotten heavier and
have solidified their signature sound and pulled
in some great collaborations, especially Wes
Borland ex of Limp Biskit. Limp Biskit's loss;
Crystal Method's gain. There is nothing limp
about his guitar-playing here.
1. "Starting Over" starts out with a gentle
electric piano riff and fades into monster
synth, chunky bass, and one of their trademark
in your face drum loops. The Crystal Method sets
up for another booty fest. This one is a little
different though, as we shall see. Not sure what
the sampled voice is saying. It sounds something
like boop boop boop boop boop, the ink dot. You
got me. But, it sounds cool.
2. "Born Too Slow" is a little different. It sort
of sounds like Aerosmith meets The Stones meets
Fatboy Slim. It seems that their record company
has been busy. Along with the opening song for
Third Watch, I just heard this one on an episode
of CSI during a club scene.
3. "True Grit" builds from a groovy little synth
riff and oozes into a big bass line with video
game phaser sounds. Totally synth-crazy with a
soulful voice sample, the breakdowns are
perfect. The first time I played this I was in
my car and I could hardly keep from standing up
and shaking everything. "I'm sorry officer,
listening to the new Crystal Method". "Oh, ok.
Why didn't you say so son. Try pulling your car
over the next time."
4. "American Way" reminds me of Electric Avenue by
Eddie Grant. With its fat moogy bass, deeply
compressed snare and chopped vocoder rhythms, it
is sort of an eighties throwback. I mean that in
a good way. Lots of little sounds come and go.
There's a standout brass/string stab that really
drives this track.
5. "I Know It's You For Me" is probably the
weakest track on the CD. The sounds are great,
but the track doesn't seem to go anywhere. It
kind of lopes along not really peaking.
6. "Realizer" is a great locked beat, electro
thing with a soulful vocal performance by Lisa
Kekaula singing "I'm a realizer. I'm on my way."
Not sure what she's going on about, but, it
sounds great. A repeated bass pattern, snappy
high hat, tight snare and pong synth line drive
this one into a groove that had my rocking in my
chair, much to the dismay of my cat.
7. "Broken" is one of my favs on this CD. Wes
Borland is on board again playing like he was a
member of that non-existent Crystal Method. This
one starts out very mysterious with just a high
hat, bass and a spacey sound that swirls from
side to side. Wes adds a squeezed little Arabic
line that sets a dark mood. A jumpy, fat,
groove settles in and falls out and lets single
note guitar switch from side to side. The track
ebbs and flows from there until everything is
smashed together for a monster dance floor
8. "Weapons of Mass Destruction" has plenty of
substance (as opposed to the results of the U.S.
inspections in Iraq. But, I digress). I
absolutely love this one. The arpeggiated
guitar, the Arabic line, the huge power chords.
This one is all Wes.
9. "Bound Too Long" has sort a dubby, eighties
feel that makes me think of one of those
eighties crime dramas, hip and comy with lots of
big hair and new wave club scenes. It doesn't
really go anywhere, but, makes you want to move
just the same.
10. "Acetone" is so groovy. It's a techno slam. My
video game fingers were itching to zap some bad
guys listening to this. Very synth-heavy, but
set off by a deeply compressed acoustic drum
loop. I was playing this in my car during the
season of the 17-year locusts and I swear that a
bunch of them stopped by my car, listened and
started shaking their wings at me. I guess they
loved the squeeky little bug sounds that snuck
in and out of the track. Horny little devils!
11. "High and Low" makes me drive faster and start
passing cars and just overall act like a crazy
man. This is Ken and Scott doing what they do
best: build earth shaking grooves with processed
vocals flying, snares slamming, breaks from
hell, and gut wrenching bass lines. I just had
to crank this one as load as I could. My head is
exploding. My butt is shaking. Heaven.
12. "Wide Open" is a perfectly mesmerizing. It's a
perfect chill out after a CD of slamming grooves
and big guitars. The guy saying "Totally wide
open" sounds like Squiggy from Laverne and
Shirley. Could it be? With monster bass, big
drums and floating keys and some sort of
conversation going on I was ready to do my best
Adam Ant with tribal war paint and all. Ok, so
that dates me. I am pretty hip for an old guy. I
still go the moves. Just watch. This is a
perfect end to a pretty close to perfect CD.
Good work guys!