The Crystal Method returns in rare form with new LP, ‘The Trip Home’
It’s been four years since a proper album from The Crystal Method — their latest full length project The Trip Home is a momentous occasion if only for that fact. But the album is also new territory for the group’s founding member Scott Kirkland, with the LP marking his first since fellow member Ken Jordan retired from electronic music in 2016. Since then, Kirkland has been determined to keep the legendary project in the game. The new 12-song album is the result, and it’s safe to say The Crystal Method’s flag is undoubtedly still planted firm.
The album is at once epically cinematic, with Atlanta-based producer Le Castle Vania on hand to help kick things off on the metal-inspired opener, “The Raze.” Rattling boom bap follows close behind on “Holy Arp,” polished by what sounds like a synthesized, distorted harmonica solo. That variance is a hallmark of The Crystal Method’s catalogue, with the project experimenting across rhythms and tempos at will. Kirkland creates 80’s power rock drama on the Franky Perez-assisted “The Difference” one moment, and channels Stranger Things mystery with “Let’s Go Home” the next.
Throughout its cinematic storytelling arc, The Trip Home maintains the spirit of classic Crystal Method. Acoustic and electronic guitars make their presence known, blending the lines between rock and electronic music. The songs’ edges are a little rough, the drums crackle and hiss, and the synth lines at times feel wrangled into submission. The result is a rebirth of The Crystal Method that feels familiar and authentic amidst Kirkland’s fresh experiments and inspirations. After more than two decades, the torch is still burning bright for one of electronic music’s true icons, and The Trip Home is a well-compiled new chapter in The Crystal Method story.