The Trip Out
After his longtime partner Ken Jordan left, The Crystal Method’s Scott Kirkland soldiered on under the alias with 2018’s The Trip Home, and on The Trip Out, the big-beat pioneer sounds as energetic as ever. Over the years, he’s pushed from his rave-rock origins into more expansive territory: The rootsy “Watch Me Now” slips into a bluesy shuffle that surges to a heavy-metal climax; “House Broken” updates acid breaks with a soaring topline. Kirkland’s range is on full display in “Free Play,” with chiming ambient synths and subtly rising energy levels that flash back to his soundtrack work. And on the closing “Post Punk,” he makes a defiant declaration of independence via Iggy Pop, sampling a bit of the singer’s dialogue from Jim Jarmusch’s documentary Gimme Danger: “I don’t wanna belong to the glam people, I don’t wanna belong to the hip-hop people. I don’t wanna belong to any of it. I just wanna be.” For Kirkland, being singular is second nature.