When: Sun., Nov. 3, 8:30 p.m. 2013
After listening to Crystal Antlers’ new Nothing Is Real (Innovative Leisure), I gave another spin to the Long Beach band’s 2009 debut full-length, Tentacles—and it’s glaringly obvious just how much they’ve tightened up their music. Tentacles is almost ramshackle, a mess of treble noise, frantic organ, and jarring reverb that often gets by on nothing but the band’s exuberance and willingness to freak out. The new album maintains some of that wildness, but “Rattlesnake” and “Wrong Side” are decidedly more chill, with straightforward rock structures and a pensiveness that reminds me of 90s college radio. Crystal Antlers are much more accomplished songwriters than they were four years ago, with a better grasp of hooks and vocal melodies—sometimes the organ even stays put for a second. Still, it’s hard not to wish for more moments where all the instruments sound like they’re trying to murder one another. —Kevin Warwick My Dad opens.