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Listening

SoCal Decay

A new song from Crystal Antlers feels like perpetually falling into a never-ending K-hole of darkness and despair, Southern California-style.

Southern California is a dark and foreboding place. People commonly associate it with the Beach Boys and Gidget, but that was from a long time past when you could still swim in the ocean without having to bathe in disinfectant afterwards. Now it’s better known as the home of the Germs, Social Distortion, Black Flag, Bad Religion, and Fear. People tend to think that depression and cold temperatures seem to go hand-in-hand, but what if you lived in a shallow wasteland that was 72 degrees all year round. It would feel like perpetually falling into a never-ending K-hole of darkness and despair, albeit a bright and sunny one. Which is what this Crystal Antlers song brings to mind. They’re coming from Long Beach, Calif., yet their songs are a constant traumatic descent into either madness or joy. But it’s a good thing. Darkness and depression, these are the precious jewels in life. They need to be coveted and treated well—polished and sculpted, then sold at auction to the highest bidder so you can move to someplace by the sea where it’s warm all year round.
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