“Supergroup” is a term that gets thrown around a lot nowadays. Big names teaming up for a record usually gets the media train chugging. However, after months of publicity the end product feels like a novelty more times than not. Regardless of the big names associated with a supergroup the music tends to feel void of passion or chemistry among it’s members. Forgettable.
Crystal Fairy is a group comprised of Terri Gender Bender, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Buzz Osborne, and Dale Crover. After reading the names in this band you naturally would think THIS is a supergroup. Unlike so many others, Crystal Fairy’s debut sticks the landing. With Le Butcherettes and The Melvins spending so much time on tour together recently the pairing seems natural. Obviously Terri and Omar have a history of working together (Bosnian Rainbows, multiple Omar solo albums). The four of them have a solid chemistry together resulting in a listen that will leave you wanting more.
To put it bluntly, Crystal Fairy created molten sludge.
The 11 tracks on their debut release flash unmistakable traits from each of it’s members’ previous works. That being said, the meeting of these brilliant minds doesn’t reflect any artistic power struggle. The result is a coherent and polished record that seems sustainable if they choose to continue to make music as a band together.
Please, let that be the case!
One of the standouts is “Under Trouble”. The beginning may sound a tad familiar to something you have heard before. It almost feels like part 2 of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”. Or at least the yin to the Beattle’s yang. The Beatles swoon over the love of a women at their bluesiest. The feeling is strong and positive.
Crystal Fairy are also at their bluesiest with “Under Trouble” but the song feels much darker. Terri laments her situation “set me free from these strands of hair…free me from myself“. Each of these songs exude the same passionate level of emotion, they just are perfect opposites of each other.
Terri always attacks with a range of vocal delivery: hysterical cackles, punk rock charges, distorted mind fuckery and anecdotal spoken word. But “Moth Tongue” is ridiculous. She erupts with chops so fierce it would knock Robert Plant onto his ass.
The thing about Crystal Fairy that surprised me is the amount of songs that could be legit radio singles. Not because these musicians don’t make music that is worthy of the radio, but they just tend to make music that isn’t radio friendly. Whether it be due to song duration, abrasive sounds or being too “out there” you don’t hear a lot of Terri, Omar, Buzz, or Dale on the radio. Probably a good example of why radio sucks.
Its doubtful Crystal Fairy intended on making a radio friendly album when they got together but the end result would appear to be just that. Let’s be honest, there is nothing negative about radio becoming less sucky and if rock stations wanted to start that shift they would get this in rotation ASAP.
Crystal Fairy comes out on February 24th, 2017 via Ipecac Records. You can pre-order a copy on some classic black wax HERE.