It’s a rotten night in Dublin; yet the sleet and snow coming down outside isn’t enough to put off tonight’s punters for a well attended show in the tiny upstairs of Whelans.
Dublin three-piece Jogging get things started; playing one of their first ever gigs. Their songs vary between crunchy hard rock and jangley new wave guitar, with the occasional Rednecks/Battles type math rock breakdowns. There’s a few impressive moments, but not enough strong songs just yet.
From the off; Crystal Antlers show plenty of stage presence, especially the bands manic percussionist Sexual Chocolate (that’s really his name) who dances ecstatically throughout the show. Mixing elements of garage rock and psychedelia, they make quite a chaotic din. Bongos, organ and howled vocals wash over expansive wah-wah guitar; with the drums and bass just about managing to hold it all together. The sound is a bit off tonight though, with the organ a bit to dominant; most of the guitar freakouts are lost in the mix.
The frequent comparisons to fellow Californians Comets on Fire are fairly justified; though Crystal Antler’s approach is less intense, more soulful and organ heavy; there’s a similar firey spirit in their sound.
The set draws heavily from their self-titled EP from last year (their debut Tentacles isn’t album due until April), with the the evening’s highlight being ‘Parting Song For The Torn Sky‘, where everything seems to fit together in a suitably apocalyptic manner. Their mark well made; we hope to see Crystal Antlers back on these shores later in the year when their LP is out.