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Rave Rock (U.S. Style)

The Crystal Method - Tweekend
(Geffen / Outpost)
3 1/2 Stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: December 21, 2001

Crystal Method

By Tony Bonyata

While they may not be the originators of electronic rave music, Las Vegas natives Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland, who make up the dynamic duo known as The Crystal Method, are taking their beats, scratches and grooves in a slightly different direction than their English brethren before them, such as Prodigy, Fatboy Slim and The Chemical Brothers.
On their sophomore album Tweekend Jordan and Kirkland mix up an electronic cauldron of hot 'n' heavy techno dance beats, trance-like grooves and pepper it with hip-hop, funk and R&B. But where their 1997 debut Vegas was an exercise in going through the groove-box motions laid down by those before them, Tweekend strays from the pack as they add edgier beats, heavier rhythms and, with the help of Rage Against The Machine's guitarist Tom Morello and Stone Temple Pilot's vocalist Scott Weiland, more rock aesthetics.
On the first single "Name of the Game," Beck's DJ Swamp etches space age scratchings to the bass heavy track which also features the flexed-muscle guitar of Morello. Adding a '70s wah-wah guitar-line on the bouncy "Wild, Sweet and Cool," Morello also serves up a down home funk new to this genre. Weiland's smooth vocals prowl like a cat in heat on the infectious number "Murder," while a primitive electronic beat, sounding as if was lifted from German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk's hard drive, percolates beneath the soulful warblings of Julie Gallios on "Ten Miles Back."
Electronica may have have once belonged solely to Old Blighty, but, with a refreshing mix of techno beats, hardcore electronics along with some of the better elements of modern rock, The Crystal Method make it feel like it's been here all along.

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