Northwest Music Month — Day 20: Crystal Desert
Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome back to Northwest Music Month 2016, where we’re featuring a different local band or artist for your music discovering pleasure every day during the month of June, to help ring in a summer of local music. Some days these artists could be a regional favorite that’s already got a following, and other days they could be a complete unknown that you’ve never heard of. Today marks the 2/3 point of Northwest Music Month, and today we’ve got a very special one for you. Fans of post-punk and fuzzed-out oddity, listen up, here’s your new favorite band: Crystal Desert!
Fresh out of Everett, Crystal Desert is a beautifully twisted headcase of a local band, and are one of those bands that’s much easier to listen to than try to describe, like great originals often are. A tag that comes to mind is “psychedelic,” which is evident in all the effects and atmospheric flourishes that permeate many of the band’s tracks. “Indie rock” is an easy one, though the band doesn’t feel like the slick, commodified version of indie rock that you often find on the radio, more the genre’s more lo-fi and bracing pioneers. “Dark-rock” could certainly be applied to songs like “Hide Your Eyes from The Shroud,” though the eccentric lead vocals from Ryan Alexander do keep these songs from falling too far into their own despondence.
Various sides to Crystal Desert can be found on the four-way Four Corners split the band released with The Pro-nouns, Asterhouse, and fellow Northwest Music Month featured band Actionesse. In our review of Four Corners, we found that in contrast to the other bands on the bill, Crystal Desert’s first track “Sick of Living,” “features more of a twinkly indie rock vibe to it, with eccentric lead vocals that aren’t afraid to get a bit zany.” The band’s second song on the split, the aforementioned “Hide Your Eyes from the Shroud,” feels like total dark-punk worship, and is one of the best highlights on Four Corners.
If the idea of “evil psych-rock” makes your mouth water (and it should), then Crystal Desert is highly recommended listening. It isn’t often you find a band so versatile and willing to experiment with so many different shades of rock music, and still manage to emerge on the other side with their own distinct voice.
You can find Crystal Desert on Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and more. Also make sure to check out the Four Corners split. Find it at fourcornerssplit.bandcamp.com/album/four-corners-a-split.