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Crystal Antlers Tentacles

Yes, it’s another “crystal” band, but there’s nothing mystical about this Long Beach quintet. Tentacles is the band’s debut full-length, and it’s filled with more of the raw, organ-drenched punk that got the boys noticed in the first place. Fueled by frontman Jonny Bell’s guttural howl, a frenetic rhythm section, and a near-constant barrage of dramatic organ blasts, the music is oddly theatrical—most notably on standout cuts like “Dust” and “Andrew.” The album also owes a certain debt to late ’80s grunge, as the title track sounds like a lost single from the early Sub Pop catalog. Few bands effectively balance grandiosity with a sense of genuine emotion—hopefully Crystal Antlers can continue to walk the line.

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