Extra-cultural reviews by synaesthetes, symbolists, and strangers.
There are certain summer nights where the breeze picks up and you can feel every inch of your being yearn to become an integral part of it. The moon is usually on its way up in this particular scenario; dusk has given way to twilight, the still, hazy afternoon air has given way to a cooler, more vital atmosphere, and the substances are beginning to make their rounds – liquid, herbal, whatever floats your proverbial boat. You clutch yourself in anticipation for the hours to come and close your eyes to really feel the night’s fingers caress your face. It’s a slow, sensuous moment and it requires a soundtrack that really brings out the yearning sense of slow motion that comes over you when it arrives.
Enter Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Flavor Crystals, whose third album (boringly titled “Three”) provides just such a soundtrack. It’s psychedelic rock that takes a heavy hint from drone and noise; imagine a 1960s hard garage group crossed with Serena-Maneesh and Brightblack Morning Light. It explores endless vistas of feedback-laden guitar interplay but grounds itself in propulsive, steadily rhythmic backbeats, especially on standout tracks like “Sultan’s Orders” and the lead single, “Mirror Chop”. The vocals are hazy and washed into the mix, creating a sinuous effect that coils around the brain and intoxicates.
The album is not exactly for the faint of heart, however; the standard version of the album is a double-LP that clocks in at 72 minutes. The truly adventurous can opt for a third, “soundtrack” album that adds on another twenty-five minutes of drone-psych experiments. I’ll go out on a limb and say that’s probably unnecessary, unless you have a huge amount of pot and the will to go through it. As it stands, the album in its standard edition is a tad too long, although listening to it in spurts is highly recommended. Then again, of course, if you have a rooftop patio, or something of the like, and you need a bold mid-July evening soundtrack, Three is a hell of a way to go.
You can check the whole album out here: http://flavorcrystals.bandcamp.com/album/three