Not a whole lot of good came out of the Bay Area dot-com crash, but for the legions of starving artists who'd found themselves literally priced out of the area during the bull market, the episode reverberated as one giant sigh of relief. Cheap rents, of course, often translate into an active arts community, and after years of hosting one of the limpest underground scenes in the country, San Francisco and its environs have managed to pull off yet another experimental punk-rock reinvention.
Erase Errata seem to be leading the pack of DIY, cut-and-paste punk acts, with bands like Pink and Brown and the Numbers trailing close behind. At Crystal Palace is EE's latest 30-minute offering of high-pitched, jagged no-wave that could even be considered danceable, albeit in a caffeinated, herky-jerky sort of way. These songs may not be as catchy as those on the band's first release, Other Animals, which the Village Voice listed as one of the best records of 2001, but they're still an impressive interpretation of the disco-punk which continues to be pounded out by the here-today, gone-tomorrow bands that give punk its vitality. Most likely, Erase Errata itself won't even be around in another few years; the truth is that this is disposable music, much more fun and accessible when experienced live and in the company of others.
As an underground artifact, At Crystal Palace succeeds. But don't expect this disc to find its way into your heavy rotation schedule anytime soon.