Two-Way Mirror - Crystal Antlers
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Aug 3, 2011
    80
    If corralling the chaos is their new MO, they made a smart move. [Aug 2011, p.81]
  2. Aug 2, 2011
    80
    One immediately clear difference between Two Way Mirror and previous Crystal Antlers work is the fact the band, led by vocalist and bass player Jonny Bell, have improved immeasurably as musicians.
  3. Jul 19, 2011
    74
    Mirror's six-and-a-half-minute closer and a major highlight here, could moonlight as a Rolling Stones B-side from the late '70s. Fear not. Have a look.
  4. Jul 21, 2011
    70
    As a whole, the sophomore album is inconsistent, but when being eccentric is such a large part of a group's appeal, this is to be expected. Notwithstanding a few weak moments, many tracks are potentially their best.
  5. All in all, Two-Way Mirror is a good but flawed album, with plenty of things to excite, but a few things that can disappoint.
  6. 70
    All in all, a weird brew, set to confound anyone who likes their music to fit neatly in a box.
  7. Jul 11, 2011
    70
    In addition to being a strong return to form, Two-Way Mirror gives Crystal Antlers some much needed momentum after an unfortunate run of bad timing and bad luck.
  8. Jul 19, 2011
    63
    Two-Way Mirror produces a handsome cacophony as is, but cutting away some of the gunk would have made it sweeter.
  9. Dec 12, 2011
    60
    The sound's good and getting better - a wig-out of surf rock, Stooges-style punk and hardcore thrash, with the occasional Bambi noise of 1960's folk peeping round a tree. [Aug. 2011, p. 106]
  10. Aug 16, 2011
    60
    West Coast eccentrics' second ambitious offering. [Sept. 2011, p. 104]
  11. Jul 21, 2011
    60
    Considering all the trials and tribulations, Crystal Antlers can definitely look themselves in the, um, mirror with Two-Way Mirror and feel good about where they are and where they're still headed.
  12. Jul 19, 2011
    60
    Parts of Two-Way Mirror give me hope for the future, but their seeming inability to hammer out a concrete songwriting method makes me doubt they'll figure it out anytime soon.
  13. Jul 14, 2011
    60
    Crystal Antlers have delivered a record that, rather than making good on the promise of their early work, is simply serviceable. But there's evidence here of a band still finding their feet and defining their sound.
  14. Jul 13, 2011
    60
    There may come a time when Crystal Antlers' potential coalesces into a great album, and will be greeted with true accolades, rather than a better-luck-next-time send off--unfortunately for us all, Two-Way Mirror is still pre-natal.
  15. Jul 11, 2011
    60
    Too often on the Antlers' second full-length, their washed-out melodies suggest powerfully memorable hooks that never fully materialize or cohere.
  16. Jul 12, 2011
    58
    After a decade of excellence from like-minded groups such as Liars and TV On The Radio, Crystal Antlers can't help but sound like a mildly intriguing afterthought, even if Two-Way Mirror holds the line in hopes of greatness to come.
  17. Aug 3, 2011
    50
    The see-sawing dynamic runs a bit ragged, ultimately.
  18. Jul 22, 2011
    50
    It maintains the headstock-nodding guitar work, the coherence between players, and the alternating structure, but it winds down the pace and pokes some air holes in the top of their sound.
  19. Jul 21, 2011
    50
    Despite spiraling further into outer space with each release, the pysch-punk band that calls Long Beach, California home keeps the drone thick yet tailored and the raucous guitar-and-drum blitzkriegs-which drive tracks such as "By the Sawkill" and "Seance"-concise.
  20. 50
    Dripping guitars and distortion follow Crystal Antlers' predictable style, but the messy trajectory of Two-Way Mirror requires serious tolerance for walls of noise to endure from start to finish.

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