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The Crystal Method

Legion of Boom (V2)

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Big-beat boppers the Crystal Method are at their best when embellishing glowstick-worthy pieces with a swaggering mish-mash of styles. And the first two tracks on the duo's third disc, Legion of Boom, follow this blueprint with inspired results: "Starting Over" mixes the hushed hymnal quality of Radiohead's "Everything in Its Right Place" with jittery Underworld-style perforations and new-wave keyboard paranoia. "Born Too Slow" meshes psychobilly guitar lurches with maniacal wails from ex-Kyuss frontman John Garcia and shearing jags of industrial riffage.

Unfortunately, the rest of Boom suffers from the same ennui and lack of originality that has plagued the recent work by BT, whose dance-floor blurts inform many of these songs. Labored computerized effects as dated as Christmas fruitcake, repetitive bum's-rushes of club-crawling rhythms, and a lack of TCM's previously prominent rockist attitude drag down collaborations with Roots member Rahzel ("American Way") and render tunes featuring actress/model Milla Jovovich ("I Know It's You") and Bellrays vocalist Lisa Kekaula ("Realizer") generic. More of a holding pattern than a sonic explosion, Boom is ultimately a bust.

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