The Crystal Method is the American Chemical Brothers. They are a techno/dance duo that incorporates rock, hip-hop, and soul into their sound. Like The Chemical Brothers, they are one of the finest dance/techno acts to come out in the past couple years.
Legion Of Boom doesn't play like your regular techno. It's techno meant for rock fans with a hint of industrial. On Born Too Slow
has John Garcia (the ex-singer for stoner metal band Kyuss) and Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit) on guitar. It's definitely not aimed for just dance audiences. It's 3 minutes of catchy riffs and sing along choruses. The song was even selected for the Need For Speed Underground soundtrack. The Crystal Method have extended past the dance and techno fan base and slowly crawling into mainstream culture. Many big beat bandsí music has been featured on commercials for sleek new gadgets and cars, and you can hear their music in any trendy clothing store. Many don't realize it, but electronica is slowly creeping into the mainstream, thanks to big beat bands like Basement Jaxx, DJ Shadow, Massive Attack, and The Chemical Brothers.
So how does The Crystal Method compare to dance band pioneers who made the genre popular? They are up there with them as one of the best. Their debut album Las Vegas
is just as classic as Dig Your Own Hole
, and Blue Lines
. It combined elements from hip-hop, rock, and ambient electronica. Legion Of Boom
doesn't differ much from Las Vegas
, nor does it do it as well. Is it still enjoyable? Most certainly. From start to finish it's pure fun. Who can't but help to sing to Born Too Slow
? And who doesn't feel the need to dance when Realizer
is playing? It's impossible not to enjoy this album.
Legion Of Boom
unlike Las Vegas
has a more industrial influence. The CD's opener Starting Over
has a looped distorted guitar playing over a steady beat that could easily fit into a Nine Inch Nails album. Weapons Of Mass Distortion
also has distorted guitars and synths all over the place. Throughout the album sampled guitars and distorted drums and synths are used. The ambient influenced songs Wide Open
, and I Know Its You
are fine examples how The Crystal Method are great electronica producers. Though the low point of the genre mixing is rap. The American Way
is the worst track, mainly due to the rapping. It seems out of place and the rappers aren't great either. The American Way
is the only song heavily influenced by rap, but a couple of the other songs have brief rapping samples, and yet again they feel out of place and not welcome. And of course the straight up dance tracks True Grit
, and High And Low
Though one problem for some people with electronica is the repetitiveness. While many like it for its hypnotizing beat and like to zone out to it (also known as trance, a sub-genre of techno) others find it to boring for conventional listening. It's best used as background music. Dance and techno are very good "soundtracks" for whatever your doing at the moment. The beats get you moving and really make you feel alive. Or, as previously mentioned you could zone out to its hypnotic beat.
Legion Of Boom
definitely made a mark for the electronica genre in 2004. It gained interest and respect for the genre. You might have heard it on a commercial or video game and were completely unaware. While Legion
isn't as strong as Las Vegas
it still is a solid and strong effort from the L.A. based dance duo. Just like the album title, it's a collection of songs exploding with beats, synths, and guitars. No matter which genre you prefer, you'll probably end up enjoying this.