Heavyweight Champion Sounds: Crystal Fighters, Star Of Love.

From the opening txalaparta thuds and plucked Spanish guitar strings of Solar System, juxtaposed with hefty chunks of rave programming and lilted western European accents chanting of female affections for Casiotone from the Basque lands to San Francisco, it becomes devastatingly apparent that East London trio Crystal Fighters aren’t really your typical Telecaster-toting bunch. Lyrically and rhythmically tribal, Star Of Love, the troupe’s debut LP is the sound of your atlas being devoured by your iPod, before being regurgitated, tambourine in hand, enrobed in silk cloak. We’ve all experienced the bleary euphoria of Xtatic Truth, a rehydrating burst of refreshing eccentricity, yet as its gushing serotonin injection runs dry, few would expect the tribal brutality of I Do This Everyday, combining shrieking guitars that wouldn’t be all too far from comfort zone on a Pulled Apart By Horses recording and eerie, distorted vocals melded haphazardly onto glitchfest 8-bit electronica. Champion Sound is sunrise ebbing on Barcelonan shores as the limbless and legless drip out of sleaze holes, At Home sublimely simplistic, with dead-pan female vox starkly contrasting Sebastian’s endearing mumbling and emotive proclamations of repeated negations, then positive affirmations (or “no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no... yeah! yeah!”), and forthcoming single Swallow sees blissed out haze collide viciously with the filthiest, heftiest dubstep stylings this side of Rusko.

Then there’s the singles... In The Summer, dripping with sunshine and oozing Vitamin D, and of course, the iconic I Love London, an alternate take on the traditional tourist guide, lauding Willesden, Harlesden, and of course, northern perimeter, termination station of the Metropolitan line, and celebrated cultural Mecca that is, Watford Junction. Follow sees the boys at their most instrumentally orchestrated, as an intro reminiscent of Flight Of The Conchords’ snapshot theme morphs into arms-aloft anthemia a minute or two down the line, whilst androgynous vocals and celebratory chord progression add a divine tinge to With You, a little like Metronomy covering Calexico whilst Caribou synth duel with MSTRKRFT next door. Symbiotic throughout, Star Of Love is an eclectic barrage of contrasting, and often cacophonously clashing genre combinations. Yet whilst perhaps their most triumphant moment, the naively wondrous Plage purveys a concrete sense of stylistic cohesion, it’s this constant flittering and fidgeting between reality and surrealism, fact and fiction, British and Basque that propels Crystal Fighters into mythical realms, as they bathe in ticker tape at the heart of a crystal maze only they can conquer.