The Crystal Method

Tweekend [Explicit Version]

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The Crystal Method spent three long years proving their devotion to the dance underground, and in the meantime separated themselves from the 1997 big beat bonanza that pigeonholed their debut full-length, Vegas. Tweekend is still something of a crossover record for many dance fans; the frameworks of these songs, and the changes within them, are obvious and unsurprising to anyone who's seen a few soft drink commercials. Still, Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland are solid, experienced producers, and that makes all the difference. The opener, "PHD," is an excellent piece of slow-grind electronica, flaunting a thick, heavily tweaked acid wash of funky breaks. The duo also dips into rap-rock for "Name of the Game," using guitarist Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and some heavy metal scratching courtesy of Beck's DJ Swamp. Morello actually appears as co-producer on three tracks, and despite his lack of experience with electronica -- Rage records usually included the declaration that all sounds had been produced by only guitar, vocals, bass, and drums -- the tracks he appears on are the best on the record. The other big guest spot is reserved for another heavy rocker, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, and he also proves surprisingly complementary to electronica; deserting his usual sand-blasted croon, Weiland delivers an emasculated vocal more reminiscent of prime new wave than grunge. Though the mid-tempo beats and nearly shlocky rhythms are a bit passé for 2001, the Crystal Method have obviously come a long way since the heyday of 1997. ~ John Bush, Rovi