Tentacles - Crystal Antlers
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. At times, the band outdoes itself even by its own standards.
  2. 84
    Just enjoy the ride and don't ask any questions. [Spring 2009, p.97]
  3. A check-your-pants rollercoaster, Tentacles isn't a critique of the times by any stretch of the imagination but it captures the feeling, the mood and the sheer abject terror.
  4. The Crystal Antlers’ debut is a flesh-fattened cloud prowler emanating a strange, jilted tenderness, a record whose devastating expressive weight is amplified, not obscured, by its deranged, frayed-edge make-up.
  5. 80
    Crucially, it always feels as if Crystal Antlers are having a blast, continually cold-shouldering the obvious and pushing each other to the limits of their musicianship and beyond. [May 2009, p.87]
  6. A debut that largely lives up to all the surrounding hype championing the group as one of the hottest new indie up-and-comers.
  7. The white-knuckle ride of Tentacles, Andrew's fried blues and the rainbow of styles in Your Spears see Crystal Antlers bucking the trend--not just rioting but inspiring, living up to their impressive promise.
  8. Raw, beguiling psychedelia from Californian newcomers.
  9. This is the kind of album that will only reward as time passes; through more listens you will find that the startling music, sincere vocals and impeccable musicianship are all at a very high quality.
  10. Crystal Antlers may be treading the same ethical path that bands such as Fugazi did, but it’s their ability to amalgamate and transcend genres with apocalyptic effect that makes them truly revolutionary.
  11. After their initial shock, fans will appreciate developments. [Spring 2009, p.65]
  12. It's unclear what frontman Jonny Bell is caterwauling about, but it scarcely matters. The vocals are just another sound bubbling up through the thick sonic stew.
  13. It’s safe to say Crystal Antlers have struck the iron while it’s hot, and while there’s no one else out there who sounds even remotely like them.
  14. Crystal Antlers' proper debut is, more than their EP, the sound of a band still with more potential than goods.
  15. For their first lengthy introduction, they seem to have lost some verve. It’s a frustrating representation of what a tightrope their sort of exorcism music is.
  16. Does Tentacles live up to those high standards? Nah, but it doesn’t embarrass itself, and that’s praise enough.
  17. 60
    Their debut full-length more than makes good on the attention they've been receiving. [May 2009, p.103]
  18. Apart from the nice flourishes and an undoubtedly authentic-sounding replication of mid- to late-'60s underground psychedelia, this album seems to have been something of a misfire, lacking a convincing emotional undertow, or sufficient clarity in its musical presentation to engage or entrance the listener.
  19. Crystal Antlers need to allow the sounds of their instruments to serve a compositional goal in this way more often, rather than simply using them to bash through their songs.
  20. These tracks are lifeless, and the multitude of sounds turns to mud, eventually eating itself.
  21. Tentacles’ more focused psych punk feels formulaic, underdeveloped and disappointing.

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