Of all the electronica acts bent over sequencers, scratching up vinyl, and looking to steal the perfect hook, the Crystal Method has certainly shown great promise in a realm of empty promises. And in the face of a U.K.- and New York-driven scene, Method's Los Angeles identity kicks off its distinction. Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland moved to the L.A. shadows from their rather uneventful Las Vegas suburban childhoods and brought a shared, longtime fascination with new wave, acid house, and '70s hard rock to the sunny-smoggy side of the country. It's no surprise that their cuts make it into the credit sequences of Hollywood flicks such as Lost in Space. Nonetheless, the sound the pair has cultivated over their six-plus years in L.A. has generated the kind of press and fan base that makes Crystal Meth a potential ambassador of techno in a rock world generally apathetic, if not hostile, to the genre.
Beat-heavy, throttling, outlined with raspy-ringing textures, and glued together with melodic hooks, their music aptly sculpts that necessary trance-state of dance music, but never threatens to float away on esoteric pretension. The ambitious Jordan and Kirkland know this--with albums such as last year's debut Vegas and the current stopgap EP Comin' Back, they admit to wanting to push the movement beyond the crop-dusted, mud-crusted rave fields and into every home in America. However unlikely this event is, the stuff's not bad. In fact, it's immediately, superficially appealing, but certainly not pioneering or inventive by trip-hop standards. Hey, nothing wrong with that, and better that Crystal Meth has reportedly honed its live show into something akin to rock-star entertainment (as opposed to the standard techno borefest of watching one or two guys sweating over a bank of computers).