By: Ryan Camuto
There is no proper way to introduce this act, they just are. Crystal Fairy is a newfangled rock supergroup comprised of Omar Rodríguez-López of At the Drive-In, Teri Gender Bender of The Butcherettes and both Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover of The Melvins. A harsh blend of psychedelics, brash punk rock and a heavy dose of The Melvins’ alt-metal, Crystal Fairy’s S/T is a fun, refreshing and a whole mess of other cliché words to describe it’s wonder.
I had no idea what to expect from such an eclectic group of musicians, so travelling through the record is like wandering through a new store. Sure, I recognize the bits and pieces but the way it is all put together and presented is strange and new, creating exciting realizations throughout. The hearty dose of fuzzy bass action is more than enough grit to make a grunge, almost dirty sound, grinding against the sharp guitar tones. “Drugs on the Bus,” has Teri Gender Bender’s airy voice cascading over the more noise rhythmic riffing, while adding other oddities to sit just uneasy enough to intrigue.
Crystal Fairy’s appeal lies somewhere between a grindhouse film soundtrack and a true sense of self artistically. It is extremely clear that this quartet is in it for themselves, creating something that truly represents them as opposed to pandering to a hipster crowd or their other projects’ fanbases.
“Moth Tongue,” is violently sludgy in that it is aggressive, but not overbearingly so. “I see you and I feel you. I don’t want them to know… My skin is peeling off,” Teri’s wailing is entrancing despite her more grotesque content. I wouldn’t call Crystal Fairy beautiful, but there is quite a beauty in how ugly they allow their music to sound. Sometimes they had traditionally rock n’ roll riffs, but they really found their groove in the slow and messiness that tracks like “Necklace of Divorce,” really press upon.
Let’s also not forget that the members of Crystal Fairy are incredibly seasoned and accomplished musicians. Dale Crover blares through the opening of “Posesión,” which becomes a driving punk rock track with that psychedelic infusion Crystal Fairy has already established throughout the album.
A strange collection of songs that intrigues and invites, Crystal Fairy is one of those supergroups that doesn’t suck. Check out Crystal Fairy’s S/T when it comes out 2/24 via Ipecac Records.