Rock, B.C.

Vancouver's Twin Crystals wrap riffs around your face and scorch you

PREVIEW I have yet to touch down upon the streets of Vancouver, B.C., but was advised recently by Jexxe Taylarr of Twin Crystals that if I ever do make the pilgrimage, I should stop by the Emergency Room — a hole-in-the-wall performance space where in addition to Taylarr's band, the likes of Shearing Pinx, Sex Negatives, White Lung, and Gang Violence tear shit up on a regular basis.

"The music scene is unbelievable," Taylarr says via e-mail. "There was a lack of places to play, so a bunch of our friends opened this DIY warehouse space and it instantly seemed to take off," he continues. "Never have we seen shows with so many rad bands."

Count Twin Crystals as one such band. With synthist Jeremiah Heywood and drummer Jordan Alexander in tow, Taylarr and company wreak serious havoc. "Punk Heart" is a tried-and-true anthem that nods back to the blown-out alt of the Screamers and Wipers. Brimming with harsh, electric current and buzzsaw electronics, the song has a J. Mascis-like lead that'll wrap around your face and scorch you. "Witness" is one helluva of an afterburner: as Taylarr unloads into the mic with unchecked rabidity, its raw primitive roots and sludgy demeanor rattle the speaker cones.

A few years after inception, Twin Crystals has stocked its vault with a collection of self-made vinyl, cassette, and CD-R releases on banners like Needs More Ram and SLU. The trio plans to issue more classics on the Gilgongo and Split Tapes imprints in the coming months. Taylarr credits the group's bulky catalog in part to his trusty record lathe. "I have a bunch of black 10-inch acetates from 1940 that we release little jams and ideas on," he explains. "The digital format will die and all these great jams we have will be lost forever, so we just make these lathe-cut records to preserve the audio. It's a great art project."

TWIN CRYSTALS With Long Legged Woman, Modern Creatures. Thurs/21, 9 p.m. $6. Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, SF. (415) 923-0923.

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