April 16, 2024

Crystal Fairy – Crystal Fairy is a monstrously squally and slamming supergroup.

IPECAC RECORDINGS                               24 February 2017

Start with the title track. Mid-way through the album; it is the perfect ambassador. If it doesn’t move you, check your pulse – you may be dead. Guitar work threads sinuously through the intro then Teri ramps up the feeling and heat while that guitar meanders threateningly behind. A middle section goes a bit Jefferson Airplane in dream-like vision and the song finally slams heavily to a stop.

Or you could start with the opening track – a viscous speedy-riffing monster, coursing drums, chugging guitar, soaring vocals and a wild screaming guitar solo, concise yet squally. Or you could start anywhere: How about the lunatic guitar solo in Bent Teeth? Or Necklace Of Divorce – pure anger and letting rip. Teri wants nothing and everything and more fool you if you get on the wrong side of her. Or the racing rattling drums of Posesion (spelled Spanish), tied to a bucking horse of a rhythm (like she sings; “messages from hell…. I listen to forbidden songs”). Or the late-sixties scary wonderland of Sweet Self’s drugged dreams. Or Secret Agent Rat – which is maximal heavy and sung in Spanish. Chugging riffs import menace and lead guitar underlines the message.

This is a super-group to match the best:

Teri Gender Bender. Last time I heard her, she was vocalist of Le Butcherettes – superb singing, lacking in involving material. Also headed Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s genre-twisting attempt at a concise rock/pop band – Bosnian Rainbows

King Buzzo from the Melvins, king of the sludgy riff and key inspiration to Nirvana.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from Mars Volta, At The Drive In and half a dozen other bands – on bass this time. Usually king of the crazy guitar solo but committed to working constantly with new people to create new inspiration. The bass is constantly inventive here.

Dale Cover from The Melvins brings his heavy slamming drums. Precise.

The question remains for this reviewer – who pulls off the fiery guitar solos? The maximum heaviosity guitar riffs are identifiable as King Buzzo’s but I’d have had the solos down as Omar’s if he wasn’t listed on bass. Is it Teri? Whoever it is, they need dragging to my town for a gig or two in a fire-proof venue.

Songs here are full of sinew, tension, threat and attack. Riffs stand out and, just as you are nodding nicely, an insane guitar solo may break out. And always, there are Teri’s classy impassioned vocals.

Omar loves being in new bands and, a fellow traveller of the world of The Melvins, he caught Le Butcherettes touring with The Melvins and collaborating on an encore. Bingo! Inspiration! Take guitar and drums from The Melvins, add Teri from Le Butcherettes, meld in Omar and a powerhouse was born. Omar jumped at Buzzo’s suggestion and something special was born. Quite possibly a band too hot to play live. The result is massively heavy yet twisty like a snake and stung through with angry venom from one of rock’s most remarkable vocalists. If you like The Melvins, Mars Volta or Le Butcherettes, you’ll love this; even more than the sum of its parts.

Get your ears around this.

About Author