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Crystal Skulls - Blocked Numbers (Cover Artwork)

Crystal Skulls

Crystal Skulls: Blocked NumbersBlocked Numbers (2005)
Suicide Squeeze Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: JesseJesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's got an undeniable lounge feel to it. Smooth and poppy. You know, like Sea And Cake. But unlike the Sea And Cake, this release by Crystal Skulls has a 70's pop feel to it. Lush, spacious melodies trade off between two guitars, the sometimes keyboard, and bass with smooth vocals overlaying it all.
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It's got an undeniable lounge feel to it. Smooth and poppy. You know, like Sea And Cake. But unlike the Sea And Cake, this release by Crystal Skulls has a 70's pop feel to it. Lush, spacious melodies trade off between two guitars, the sometimes keyboard, and bass with smooth vocals overlaying it all. The drums are my favorite part. They're simple pop drums with that laid back groove that you don't hear in melodic indie bands often. So it was a little bit surprising when I checked the liner notes and saw that it was none other than Casey Foubert on the drums. And who else was in the band but Yuuki Matthews! It seems that half of the now-defunct Seldom (and the sometimes drummer for Pedro The Lion) is playing in Crystal Skulls. Why didn't anyone tell me?

But unlike Seldom, Christian Wargo is the premier singer and songwriter for Crystal Skulls, whereas Seldom had Yuuki as the main songwriter, which was the one thing I couldn't get over about Seldom: the songwriting. At times, it was just really weak, especially lyrically. Musically, the band was doing something I had never heard before, and elements of that definitely show through in Crystal Skulls. Oh, the other guy in the band is Ryan Phillips. The name sounds familiar, but I can't place him and neither can AllMusic.com.

With that clarified, my view on this band shifted. In terms of comparison, this band reminds me a lot more of Seldom than the Sea And Cake. But I'm babbling on about a defunct band that most of you don't care about. Regardless, Crystal Skulls have a supremely sublime pop style that is both exciting and fun, like the thinking man's pop (and no, I'm not referring to Mingus Dew), and it's no surprise that this band is getting lots of hype. It's a flawless release with hard-hitting melody and harmony. From beginning to end, it's a solid piece of awesomeness, from the upbeat, head-bobbing opener "Airport Motels" to the slower and lazy afternoon feeling of "Away From Home," which closes the album 31 minutes and 20 seconds later.

MP3s
Airport Motels
No Room For Change

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Jason Collett - Here's to Being HereThe Makai - The End of All You KnowWarren Ellis - Crooked Little Vein [book]Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels - Ain't It FunnyBlonde Redhead - 2331 Knots - The Days and Nights of Everything AnywhereOf Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?The Brokedowns - These Colors Don't Run (The Musical)Joe Lally - There to HereTin Armor - A Better Place Than I Have Been

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (December 11, 2005)

i saw them in concert last night in kenniwik!! ahh they were beatifully genius!! they tested some new songs on us and oh my... what awesomely cool stuff. The concert was in this dinky little shop about maybe twice the size of my living room, what an experience, the awesome, small town environment only made the performance a more personal experience.. wow, what a good time. they played with richard swift who was pretty much amazing...possible one of my new favorite bands.

Anonymous (December 8, 2005)

i'd like to know from all the people who said that crystal skulls were so "fucked up" what type of music u listen to.. because it's pretty much idiotic to comment on a band doesn;t even play the kind of music you like, because your comment is completely pointless for those people who like this type of music. I really like the crystal skulls, they have some awesome chord progressions, and it;s just fun to listen to and sing along to. and i agree with the dude who reviewed crystal skulls, the drummer rocks!!

Anonymous (August 15, 2005)

Is your problem with the ancient relics just because you think it's stupid or because you think they're unaware of the reference? What's you're idea for a great band name?

Anonymous (May 26, 2005)

maroon 5 sucks, crystal skull sucks...who cares if they sound the same??

Jesse (May 26, 2005)

Well, they don't sound exactly the same. Seeing as how Maroon 5 was a crappy power pop band that changed their name and tried to make a neo-soul album and Crystal Skulls is a 70s rock influenced melodic indie group.

Something tells me you don't pay enough attention to what you're listening to, or maybe you just have no way of discerning music. Which really scares me. Does that mean that Braid sounds like Matchbox 20 to you? Good Lord I hope not.

Anonymous (May 25, 2005)

"I'd rather be stuck under a soda machine while being stung by a scorpion."

Murphy seemed to enjoy it.

Anonymous (May 25, 2005)

If you like this band but not MAROON 5 you are a fucking nerd because they sound exactly the fucking same. GARBAGE.

Icapped2pac (May 25, 2005)

I'd rather be stuck under a soda machine while being stung by a scorpion.

Anonymous (May 25, 2005)

this is lame alternative rock .....fuck off you cunts

Anonymous (May 25, 2005)

one of the best records of '05, amazing

Anonymous (May 24, 2005)

crystal skulls? Naming your band after ancient relics found in central and south america is just fucking stupid. ----Travis.

Anonymous (May 24, 2005)

i agree with anonymous... fuck

Inspection12e (May 24, 2005)

Damn I really like this cd and Jesse gave it a good review. What is this world coming to?

Anonymous (May 24, 2005)

fuck this band, its a fuckin fuck that simply is fucked off

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