Welcome To The Mixer (Crystal Fairy, Crystal Fairy review)


Peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, grilled cheese and tomato soup, cookies and cream, spaghetti and meatballs. There have been many great food duos discovered over the history of food pairing.

Why should music be any different? I always like to say that punk rock and metal go together like salt and pepper, but I think this weeks review, will really caramelize that idea for me.




Crystal Fairy – Crystal Fairy
released February 24, 2017
******** 8/10


Crystal Fairy are an ensemble band composed of some extra special American and Mexican rockers. Featuring the incredible talents of veterans Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover (The Melvins), Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (At The Drive-In), and fronted by Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes), Crystal Fairy are the best parts of punk, rock and metal all rolled into one..

They formed back in early 2016 and have spent the better part of the last year putting together songs that would eventually become a full-length album self-titled as Crystal Fairy.

To put it rather simply, this truly is an original and interesting effort because it combines the instrumental sounds of The Melvins with the vocals of Teri Gender Bender. If you are familiar with both bands Crystal Fairy sounds exactly like what you would expect it to… a punk rock opera of thrash and, believe it or not, pop.

The album plays fast and loose and takes no prisoners in it’s wake.

I suspect a lot that is owed to the fact that all of the members have had previous collaborations in one capacity or another. Which means that everyone gets to bring their strengths in without worrying about overstepping, and it works quite well.

I wouldn’t call this a super group though, because while each of the members have been successful in their own right, none of them have attained the level of ego that comes with large commercial success, and the music is better for it.

It’s an odd marriage of rock tempos, thrashing guitars and vocal intensity, but the combination of sounds allows the whole thing to feel cohesive, even when we switch between subdued and bravado. It really is difficult for me to review this album and not focus on Teri’s performance in particular. A couple of my favourites are the slower paced Moth Tongue and Necklace of Divorce, but that doesn’t mean that title track Crystal Fairy and album closer Vampire X-Mas aren’t praiseworthy.

If you don’t like metal music, you should listen to this album, it’ll change your mind. If you don’t like punk rock, well you should listen to this album, because it’ll change your mind. Now, if you don’t like pop, I really think you should listen to this album, as it’ll change your mind. But if you don’t like bilingual tracks, you’ve obviously had a bad time, so you should listen to this album, I swear it’ll change your mind.

No lie, this is probably one of the fastest album I’ve listened to in months. The energy within these tracks is infectious and while it doesn’t do anything innovative, that doesn’t mean it ain’t a hell of a lot of fun to listen to.


Crystal Fairy might not be quite as good as butter and corn. Yet. But I can assure you that as we get using to see this pairing for the genius punk rock with metal hybrid that it is, we’ll become more comfortable with this notion and both forms will see a resurgence in popularity once again. Seriously, I can see these guys giving both brands a boost in popularity. But that’s just a theory.


See The Math Of It (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dissociation review)

Saying goodbye is incredibly tough – Particularly if you don’t know if you’ll ever meet again. When all you have are memories from a painful departure, it numbs you to your core being.

You need to be thoughtful in your farewell messages, because once you do, there is no second chance. This week’s album review is an exercise is that experience. Someone leaves and the other stays behind.

The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
released October 14, 2016
******** 8/10



The Dillinger Escape Plan are an American mathcore and heavy metal band which claimed their name from the bank robber John Dillinger. Founded in 1997 and born out of a hardcore punk group called Arcane, these guys have seen numerous roster changes over their 10 year tenure and 6 studio album showing.

Like the man, The Dillinger Escape Plan have successfully executed numerous projects which have given them creative control and an ability to dictate the course of their own trajectory despite numerous changes to the lineup, intentional and otherwise.

Dissociation marks the last time that TDEP will be performing together on tour. Initially thought to be an indefinite hiatus, lead singer Greg Puciato has since confirmed that the band will be breaking up once the tour ends in March 2017.

Let me start first by stating that I was disappointed to learn that TDEP would be breaking up after this record. As I immerse myself more fully in the music scene, especially in metal, I realize that there a number of fantastic groups that make metal music which I know absolutely nothing about. Dissociation feels like the right title knowing what we now know of the future. Whether the album is about the separation of it’s elements, literal or metaphorically, the foundations of the record are set up rather nicely with Limerent Death. A song that addresses the death of a romantic sentiment and the lingering frustrations therein. The follow up track Symptom of Terminal Illness is definitely more methodical and slow in it’s delivery.

Wanting Not So Much As To is one of my favourites on this album. I suspect it has something to do with the punk tones and howls featured throughout, plus it features melodic notes, spoken-word, and it all fits in together rather nicely in it’s instrumentation.

Fugue has great electronic influences, Low Feels Blvd is jazzy, while Surrogates and Honeysuckle feature prominent opening, middle, and closing sections.

Manufacturing Disconent is heavy. And in the past this would’ve been exactly the kind of song I stayed away from, but it’s considerably more interesting to consider it with the backup vocals and sampled audio. Taken as a whole, this song represents the creative ability of The Dillinger Escape Plan almost perfectly, and other critics have labelled it as a classic sound for them.

The final three tracks are all excellent in their own right – Apologies Not Included, Nothing to Forget, and title track Dissociation. It is the light at the end of tunnel. And as mentioned before whether literal or a metaphor, this song has a simple structure and even some hope of the future ahead. I blame the strings for that. They are beautifully included and introduce us to a very different side of The Dillinger Escape Plan. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye, but I suspect a great many replays of Dissociation in the years to come.




I’ve heard this idea that true friends don’t ever really say good-bye, they just take a sabbatical from each other, picking up the pieces easily upon reconnection. The Dillinger Escape Plan have had an excellent run, and while they may be leaving to pursue other opportunities, the memories they have made will last a lifetime, even better because we have a musical record. That could just be a theory though.