Saturday, 23 January 2021

The Crystal Method "Tweekend" (2001)

Four years on from their debut record Vegas, The Crystal Method return during the decline of Big Beat's popularity with a sound somewhat on a similar trajectory to that of Fatboy Slim. Tweekend strides towards the Electronic music scenes of the time with an emphasis on virtual instruments and rock grooves above the bombast of big drum samples, which still have an edge. With plenty of lengthy cuts over six minutes and nothing to ambitious in the way of progressive songwriting, the record serves as a decent mood setter, lively and energetic but not demanding too much of the listener.

Each track tends to have a through line, a backbone that is always present as the arrangements shuffle around the complimenting sounds. There is a lot of them too, these songs are dense and layered with electronic instruments, percussive sounds and synths woven around the beat. The attention to detail holds up. These highly repetitive songs get fleshed out as its drum loops drone on with many instruments and samples taking focus as the lead, jumping back and forth from the limelight. 

Its best songs come with crunchy rock guitar hooks worked in, dropping steady grooves to drive the music onwards. It can often be a noisy affair with its calmer synth sounds being bombarded by all sorts of noises, most common of which seems to be the "off the era" DJ scratches. They kick off vocal samples and slip in lively vinyl sounds similar to that of Limp Bizkit, who would of been on top of the world around this time of this record. Its an element I enjoyed a lot, this album has so much going for it that fits snugly into this era, even though I didn't enjoy at that time.

All in all its no work of art but a competent execution of ideas reflecting the changing times in Electronic music. With lots of spins it has dulled. I fun one to check out but only a couple of numbers demand a return on occasion. I was going to call it quits here but reading up on their next effort, Legion Of Boom, I may have to check it out for the inclusion of Wes Borland and his guitar playing on three or so songs!

Rating: 6/10