Two RSTB favorites joining forces here and the result amplifies both artists’ strengths. After years of engaging in the mutual appreciation society, Brad Rose (The North Sea, Charlatan) and Matt Lojoie (ML Wah, Herbcraft) join together for two longform journeys into the night. Pairing Brad’s synths with Matt’s guitar longing, the album stares down distance, plumbs the desperate corners of the soul, and buzzes with a feeling that’s somewhere between the release of laceration and consumption of lament. The first side buzzes with an electric drone, part machine, part synapse fry. Lajoie snakes his guitars around Rose’s insistent din, tracing shadows in the fog until the sparks of the synth erupt into dancing blue flames.
The second side starts with a more collected tone, a feeling of peace after rain. The tone shifts to cleansing the curse from the first side, a rebirth in sun after the storm. The musicians burble and thread around one another to create a shimmering peace, or at least an aural facsimile of it. The two sides co-exist within a world of destruction and rebirth, and the hope is that the latter is always coming somewhere over that lost horizon. On The Crystal Seas is a lovely pairing of two longtime constants in the worlds of psych, kosmiche, and concrete and in finding one another, they’ve only amplified their strengths.
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