It’s no secret that our current times are a doozy, and Brooklyn-via-Boston art punks Guerilla Toss throw this reality in our face on their latest album, and third for DFA Records, Twisted Crystal. The record is engulfed in wacky synthesizers, space noises and off-kilter guitar riffs as singer Kassie Carlson sings about death, being Jesus’ pet rabbit and many things in-between.
It’s a lot to pack into a 29-minute record. At times, however, it seems Twisted Crystal crosses the line from pointed stimulation to plain overabundance. “Jesus Rabbit,” and to a lesser degree “Hacking Machine,” seem to lean too hard on this approach. Compare it to “Walls of the Universe,” where the group allows the song to evolve rather than drop us deeper into an already exhilarating listen.
The album’s second half embraces this approach and succeeds because of it. Highlights include “Jackie’s Daughter” and “Come Up With Me,” a krautrock-esque song that tackles the album’s wacky approach in a more controlled and catchier manner.
Album closer “Green Apple” has Carlson posing questions big and small over a driving, looping guitar melody. The song includes the album’s only fade-out, a move deservedly earned.