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Legion of Boom (Audio Version)

The Crystal Method

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Album Review

By late 2003, the bombastic sonic signature of big beat had finally been fully co-opted by the advertising and extreme sports industries. The style's roots had never run much deeper than a few adventurous breakbeats anyway, but attached to everything from pricey spots for cell phones and sports cars to hyper-edited snowboarding highlight reels, big beat inevitably plateaued. When it did, the formula established by the Crystal Method with their 1997 debut became the accepted template. Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland have remained busy children since Vegas, issuing a sophomore full-length and a well-received mix record. They've returned with Legion of Boom, an album that breaks little new ground, but further entrenches the Method as America's finest producers of dance music made for rock & roll people. "Born Too Slow" chops up a slick and dirty Wes Borland guitar riff over thumping bass beats and the decidedly rock yowl of John Garcia (ex-Kyuss); Borland's discordant mayhem later resurfaces for "Weapons of Mass Distortion," which breaks exactly where you expect it to but is nevertheless the kind of throbbing, hedonistic track expensive nightclub sound systems were invented for. The Method tap DJ Swamp for an assist on "The American Way," which establishes a methodical, percussive groove for Rahzel to rap over, and manipulate the moans of Milla Jovovich for the moody "I Know It's You," which glints and flashes like pink neon off the tinted windows of a speeding limo. This is ultimately what separates Jordan and Kirkland's music from the tinfoil beats and breaks of the average advertisement clamoring for hip. Legion of Boom is definitely a product of formula, but it packs the promise of afterhours hanky panky. It causes nocturnal groove instead of shilling for green shaving cream. In short, the Crystal Method's tracks deliver on the escapism their followers can only suggest. Legion of Boom: coming soon to a late-night lounge near you.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

L.A.'s Crystal Method were referred to as America's answer to the Chemical Brothers. A dance-based electronic duo with a definite rock band feel, the comparison seemed appropriate, although it tended to erase what made the group distinct: a solid base in American hip-hop, rock, soul, and pop. Formed in 1993 by Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland, Crystal Method was the longest-running stop in a string of projects that led them from their native Las Vegas (and some forgettable four-track stabs at vocal...
Full bio
Legion of Boom (Audio Version), The Crystal Method
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