George Szegedy was the man behind the drum set in the People’s Temple. Now a defunct band, he has his own solo project under the name CRYSTAL DRIVE out of Lansing, Michigan. This self-titled LP is his first release of any sort (and a first from any member of his previous band), coming pressed in an edition of 300 pieces from Jett Plastic Recordings based in Detroit.
Crystal Drive is like a technicolor dream, loaded with swirling electronic landscapes and burning psychedelic guitars. The vocals come with a distinct tone for any People’s Temple listener, adding an instant element of familiarity. And if that’s not the case for you, what the hell have you been doing with your life? If you haven’t listened to this one yet, I’m about to ask you the same question – even only a couple weeks after its release.
From “Cold (Inside My Love)” onto “Chemical Children” and onto the strobe light effects of “Artificial Company,” there’s an ample amount of quality content to be discovered here. Szegedy displays his glamorous electro-craft through a clean and glossy filter, leaving these tracks spotless without the smallest speck of dust. This level of quality helps paint the bright and vibrant backdrop for an album that is straight up buzzing with life, energy and enthusiasm. All that said, you’d think Crystal Drive is his second or third rodeo with such outstanding results (which is an arguable statement given the People’s Temple’s large body of work), but nope. This is a debut under a brand new name.
“Function Like You” has a 80s synth rock approach, with badass guitar soloing and kaleidoscopic synthesizer melodies. Album highlight “The Scanner” is the equivalent of an underwater sonar scanning for signs of life on the sea bed, or a waning beacon of light high up in a dim, moonlit sky. It’s dragging slowly but deliberately at a medium pace, driven by that blinking synth beep and Szegedy’s shuffling pattern on the drum set.
“Chemical Children” boasts grainy synth breezes and an addicting sunlit chorus, all expertly placed around timely guitar licks. “Cold (Inside My Love)” is built around the muddy buzz of syrupy, quicksand-like synths, and then speckled with another layer of brisk and icy leads. Even still, it’s Szegedy’s passionate voice that becomes the highlight, guided smoothly and calmly along with the clanking cymbal hits. These elements all crystalize together into something totally honest and profoundly effortless. Coincidentally, this excellent debut closes out on a track titled “Effortless,” carefully gravitating through a hazy, womb-like environment with cascading beams, tribal tom-toms and Szegedy’s murky vocals.
Hop onto Crystal Drive now and take the icy cool cruise and see just where it’s going to lead you. Jett Plastic Recordings only has 300 copies of the vinyl to go around – 100 copies on white, 200 copies on clear blue wax. Get one, get some.
BUY the LP from Jett Plastic Recordings – 100 on white, 200 on blue vinyl
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