Founded in 1993 by Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan, it’s incredible to think that The Crystal Method has been supplying the world with eclectic waveforms for over a quarter-century. Today marks the release of The Crystal Method’s sixth studio album, The Trip Home. However, there’s something particularly special about this aural entrée; this is the first album release since Ken Jordan left the duo in 2017.
‘The Raze’ kicks off the LP with Le Castle Vania in the form of a cavernous, brooding, slightly disconcerting collaboration that hits all the right notes of what we love about The Crystal Method. Blood pressure stays elevated with ‘Holy Arp’, the LP’s first single; though it might be a different shade of holy than your mother’s typical Sunday, it’s a divine offering of synthesis all the same.
A personal favorite, ‘Ghost in the City’ is all juice and no play. Magnificent, crushing bass arrangements, a seductive topline from Amy Kirkpatrick, and driving melodies all coalesce for that classic crystalized perfection we know and love.
Throughout the release we’re met with dreamy oscillations, classic hip-hop breaks interspersed with atmospheric meanderings, and the eclectic nectar of 90’s legend penetrating the veil of 2018’s soundscape.
‘Carry On’ is a pillow for our weary minds, serving as a gorgeous intermission before the album takes on a loftier expression of introspection. The hands of Matt Lange and Justin Chancellor are all over the juicy center of ‘Cabin Pressure’, stirring up scenes of a back alley New York City crime chase that flows into a charging ballad with Franky Perez on ‘There’s a Difference’.
Preparing the LP for an uplifting resolution is ‘Hold on to Something’, before dropping into the final, thoughtful expanse of ‘Let’s Go Home’. This last one is prime for a late night cruise down your favorite street, roaring past strobing lamplights as fond memories of the past are replaced with dreams of what’s to come. Hit play and tuck yourself in for the ride.
Overall, The Trip Home is a glorious addition to The Crystal Method’s storied discography with decidedly cinematic tone. Somewhere along the 12 track journey, you may come to realize your brain has been sucked through your earholes and you’ve got a little more pep in your step, strangers are smiling your way, and you can finally sense the slight crisp of fall in the breeze. No, this isn’t the onset of dementia, rather the afterglow of a truly exquisite production from one of our genre’s greatest minds. As a not-so-newly minted solo moniker, Kirkland’s Crystal Method understandably spins a subtly different twist without Jordan’s production efforts.
Don’t forget The Crystal Method is still embarking his North American tour in celebration of The Trip Home, and tickets/dates can be found here.