Release Date: Feb 24, 2017
Record label: Ipecac
Genre(s): Alternative/Indie Rock
The Ipecac-issued debut album from the outlier indie rock quartet featuring the Melvins' Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover, At the Drive-In's Omar Rodriguez-López, and Le Butcherettes' Teri Gender Bender, Crystal Fairy delivers a surreal blast of sonic pugilism that pairs psych-tinged, stentorian stoner metal with snarling art-punk. True to its members' pedigrees -- and in a rare bit of kismet -- the 11-track set more than lives up to the hyperbolic notion of a supergroup, employing a lethal aural assault that marches to beats both familiar and phantasmagoric. Teri Gender Bender (real name Teresa Suárez) proves once again that she's one of the most versatile vocalists in the heavy music scene, deftly weaving in and out of octaves like a Ducati during rush hour on a four-lane highway -- the aptly named "Drug on the Bus" is a particular tour de force.
Melvins collaborations are generally super dope, with many highlights over their storied, grungy career. One of the songs Steven Shane McDonald from Redd Kross joined the band for, “The Decay of Lying” from Basses Loaded, is as great as any of the “classic” Melvins stuff. The Melvins honestly reward their real fans with consistently great and frequent output far more than most groups, always seeking to keep things interesting.
Never known for sitting still, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover from The Melvins have teamed up with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of At the Drive-In and Teri Gender Bender of Mexican garage punks Le Butcherettes to form Crystal Fairy. Unsurprisingly, it sounds exactly like Teri Gender Bender fronting The Melvins--a fascinating concept in theory that turns out to be deliriously satisfying in practice. Awesomely titled cuts like "Drugs on the Bus," "Necklace of Divorce" and "Secret Agent Rat" hammer and swing with booming Melvins grooves while Ms.
It's always a good idea to approach supergroup-type projects with caution, no matter how enticing they might look on paper. After all, when artists from well-known bands come together, they face the near-impossible challenge of sounding enough like their main acts while also breaking new ground--and usually without much time to gel. The new group Crystal Fairy pits Melvins core members Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover alongside Le Butcherettes frontwoman Teri Gender Bender and Butcherettes collaborator/producer Omar Rodríguez-López, most famous as the driving force behind the Mars Volta and At the Drive In.
Everyone agrees that bacon goes with anything. This is a known, indisputable fact. Bacon ice cream exists. You cannot argue with bacon, unless you don't eat meat or pork on principle. And unless you're an idiot with a skillet, anyone who fries bacon will create deliciousness. By the same logic, you ….
When exactly does Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta sleep? There seems to be a new project from him every week, much of it on the Ipecac label, America's true home of the weird. This time he's jumped on board a hook-up between King Buzzo and Dale Crover of The Melvins and Teri Genderbender of Le Bucherettes, which came about when Genderbender joined The Melvins on stage to cover Bikini Kill's righteous riot grrl classic Rebel Girl. That's sadly missing from this rollicking debut, but from the moment opener Chiseler bursts into life with the kind of classic, adrenaline-junkie riff you could use to power a mission to Mars, all you can do is strap yourself in and enjoy the G-force.
Crystal Fairy is a supergroup featuring Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover of the Melvins, Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes and Omar Rodríguez-López of At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta. Most of those artists collaborated on a cover of Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl," but the majority of their self-titled debut is much slower and heavier, closer to the sludge metal the Melvins are known for. Album opener and outlier "Chiseler" is annoying and skippable hard rock like Avenged Sevenfold, or even Nickelback; thankfully, the rest of the album is relatively palatable sludge/doom metal, at its best evoking Windhand, but at times a bit chunkier.
It's clear that this is a case of love at first sight (between the three bands involved, that is.). Crystal Fairy includes Teri Suarez of Le Butcherettes, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover of the Melvins and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of At the Drive and its obvious all three bands are enamored with each other. As Buzz mentioned in other interviews, as soon as he saw Suarez open for Jello Biafra, he knew that he wanted to tour with her band Le Butcherettes. And of course, like most quick romances, things escalated quickly from there with Suarez closing out the Melvins set with a fiery rendition of Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl." So, it's no surprise that the bands involved wanted to make their fling official.