CMJ: Crystal Antlers at Fader Fort


Not Fader Fort but uh, yup

Crystal Antlers
Fader Fort
October 24

Z: So how do you explain to someone that a band is awesome without resorting to describing what you basically liked about them, i.e., the bassist’s ethereal scream?

C: Well, with these 25-minute day shows of eight bands in a row, there’s something really terrific about a band who can play 50 million of these in five days, yet still set up for that short amount of time and be completely transformative on any stage, at any hour.

Z: Unlike, say, Friendly Fires. I had been led to believe this was a hippy-related psychedelic band.

C: You were wrong. And you wanted to see Passion Pit instead.

Z: There were no indications that these guys were basically early-to-mid Cave In, except with a frontman whose name I just discovered to be ‘Sexual Chocolate.’ Crystal Antlers (Antlers, right?) are not the Doors.

C: I am going to change my name legally to Sexual Vanilla and be his life partner. By the way, who led you to believe “this was a hippy-related psychedelic band”?

Z: Unclear. That promo cover with the deer on it? The Pitchfork review notes that the EP merges “psych, garage, lo-fi, prog, and countless other influences,” which seems on point, except all of those things kind of suck and CA are unequivocally a good band, even on other weeks that are not CMJ weeks. Are you going to mention the bongos?

C: No, because bongos are worse than autoharps. They are not a selling point. I would like to continue believing I’ve never seen them used in a band I really like. What was awesome about this band is that while I generally love artifice, visual tricks, and kitschy projections—there was none of that and they still fucking rocked. Also, my notes are terrible, which is usually a good sign—I, like, wrote their name, as if that would somehow help me recollect the experience: “Crystal Antlers.” I think that means I was paying attention.

Z: Excellent point. Although let’s be honest here: We just witnessed Sexual Chocolate twist his shirt into the immortal middle-school sex-ploy t-shirt bra and then rub his exposed nipples. What with the five cameras stuck in his face, you could be forgiven for thinking he *was* a kitschy projection.

C: If they were going to remake ‘Almost Famous’ for the blog-crit era, starring Amrit from Stereogum and Marnie Stern as Kate Hudson, Crystal Antlers would be Stillwater.