The opening track on Car Crash Sisters’ debut The Crystal Garden is called “Automatic.” I can’t help but think that there might be a little more than a passing reference to The Jesus and Mary Chain’s third album, since many of the sounds the group tends to favor point to that kind of guitar music era.
But let’s start with their name, Car Crash Sisters, which is a complete fallacy. They are by no means sisters and I hope that their bond comes from their love of fuzz and not vehicular accidents. The quartet hails from Aguascalientes, hardly a hotbed for talent, yet I hope this EP is an indication of potential.
Having participated in a tribute to Ride along with Perú’s Fiorella 16 and Mexico’s Has A Shadow, one could think that Car Crash Sisters play what everyone terms shoegaze, but that’s only part of the truth. “Automatic” comes across more like Sonic Youth at their rockiest rather than the dream explorations of Slowdive or the immaculate cacophony of My Bloody Valentine. It’s refreshing to hear a band not limit themselves to a given set of influences dictated by the style they practice, but I would go further and say that what they’re doing is more than emulation or imitation. As much as the shoegaze scene has been labeled “the scene that celebrates itself,” CCS employ the guitar sounds of the late ’80s and early ’90s to celebrate themselves through the ages.
While sonically impressive, the CCS are also great at writing and arranging songs. The Crystal Garden ranges from driven, melodic bursts of skronk to more subdued, atmospheric tracks. “All My Friends Live Underwater” is one of the catchier moments of the extended play, but there’s not a weak one in the bunch. Things flow in an easy manner to keep the listener nailed to the stereo. By the time “Broken,” the haunting acoustic number, closes the set, more songs are expected, but, alas, you’ll have to wait for the next Sisters album.
Mex “chugueis” is one of the hottest sounds at the moment, with Lorelle Meets The Obsolete touring their asses off, Los Mundos getting rave reviews for their performance at Levitation/Austin Psych Fest, Vaya Futuro gathering attention left and right, and many more bands playing quality music, it’s not hard to picture Car Crash Sisters eventually joining those bands on the front lines of swirling guitars and fuzzed-out songs.