Four years is a long time to go without any new product in the pop
marketplace, but it's been done successfully a few times in the past
though not often by artists in the quick-changing world of
dance/electronica. If anything, the great triumph of Tweekend
is that Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan have managed a pretty
current-sounding album four long years after Vegas, their
hyperactive and densely packed debut.
On Tweekend, the Crystal Method never swerve too far away from
the big-funky-drums-and-pitch-bending-keyboard formula they worked so
hard on Vegas, but they do add some rock guitar to the mix,
which moves things along quite nicely. Tom Morello co-produces and
appears on "PHD" and "Wild, Sweet & Cool," while also co-producing
"Name of the Game"; his feel for the groove perfected in Rage Against
The Machine doesn't let the Crystal Method down. Having DJ Swamp cut
up the vocal samples on "Name of the Game" doesn't hurt either. Scott
Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots makes an appearance on the fast-paced
"Murder," dropping in some distorted funk-rock guitar while crooning
his best imitation of stereotypical faceless techno-chorus singer. He
does a damn good job of it too.
If there's any discernible difference between Vegas and
Tweekend, it's that Kirkland and Jordan give the sounds on
this latest disc more of a chance to be heard. Vegas, not
unlike the city it was named after, was a noisy affair, with a lot of
flash that sped by and wore the listener out. Tweekend shares
the intensity of the duo's debut disc, but often gives the songs a
littlebreathing room. By doing this, it allows the listener to
admire the craft of the artists' work, especially on deceptively
simplistic songs like "Roll It Up," "The Winner" and "Over the Line."
No one who bought Vegas will be disappointed by
Tweekend, unless they're looking for some statement of artist
growth. That's the only area where this album falters. It is
otherwise a solid collection of thundering Big Beat grooves. Nothing
earth-shattering, but definitely booty-grooving.