Sweet Crystal is a band that has been together for over forty years. The band formed in 1971 and three core members are Marq Andrew Speck (lead vocals, keyboards), Bill Blatter (guitar, vocals) and Steve Wieser (drums).
The band plays “Christian” rock but I doubt it’s the kind you are thinking of. Let’s face it - a lot of Christian rock isn’t very good. It is way too grandiose; all the singers have a Nickleback style vocals and it’s overproduced. Sweet Crystal is a big sounding rock but it sounds more like arena rock that bands used to play in the ‘80s and late ‘70s. Fans of bands like Scorpions, Styx and Queensryche should all appreciate this music. In all honesty I kept on thinking of the fictional band Spinal Tap because of the over the top nature of the songs.
Their latest release QUAD is a five-song EP that demands your attention whether you like it not. It’s intense and sometimes to the point of being ridiculous. The first song is an instrumental track entitled “Fanfare” that reminded me of a more cosmic sounding Rush. It would have worked well in the 1981 cult classic Heavy Metal.
The first fleshed out full-length song entitled ”Foot of The Cross” is an interesting mix of ballad and arena rock. We are greeted with a vocal style that is almost a mix between talking and singing. He delivers the lines “I woke up this morning I was lying on the floor.” I appreciated the guitar solo and some of the classic moves like the pick scratch against the strings.
The next track “Some People May Ask” was tailor made to be in a play. I’m talking about a huge Broadway play where people are doing somersaults and fifty people are singing. There is no way this song would work in a small venue. This song should be played in an arena, one of those mega churches or Carnegie Hall. That’s about it.
Next up is “Anthem” which is mostly instrumental and has a Mike Oldfield type vibe. It contains whimsical synths, bells and angelic vocal harmonies. Eighties arena rock meets tubular bells. “Him Alone” is the most straightforward rocker out of the batch. That being said, the ‘80s vibe is undeniable on this one.
I don’t go to church regularly (if ever) but if I did I would hope that Sweet Crystal was there to rock my socks off first thing in the morning. If you are going to sing about Christ you might as well combine it with ‘80s arena rock.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook