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The Crystal Method

Our critics' picks in new releases

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One gets the feeling that while recording their latest homage to organized noise, The Crystal Method may have partaken of a tad too much of their namesake substance. Following on the heels of '97's window-rattling Vegas (which spawned the club/rave/GAP commercial hit "Busy Child"), Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland spent four years touring and assembling material for their sophomore release.Unfortunately, their follow-up, Tweekend, comes across as somewhat uninspired. There are bright moments, most notably the rave-rocker, "Name of the Game," the first single from the disc (produced by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello). "The Winner" also provides a much-needed boost in the center of the disc, but too many of the tracks establish somnambulistic grooves that even hard-tripping X-heads couldn't get into. Even clean-and-sober guest star Scott Weiland has trouble revving the Method up. His contribution, a wailing track titled "Murder," while a valiant effort, still falls short of expectations.

Once hailed as the stateside Big Beat messiahs (aka the American Chemical Brothers), Jordan and Kirkland continue to blow crowds away with their mind-shattering live gigs. And perhaps that's how this music was truly meant to be heard--with a head full of illicit drugs and a giant stack of ear-bleeding speakers pumping the digitally enhanced squeaks and squalls through your cerebral cortex. Sadly, there's nothing that equals the energy and raw vibes of Vegas on this disc. It's like copping contraband on the corner, rushing home to get your fix, and realizing you've purchased a packet of crushed-up aspirin. It might help your headache, but it ain't gonna get you high.

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