Thursday, 5 February 2009

Crystal Stilts - Alight of Night (Angular 2009)

The first sound that stirs is churchy synth declaring gloom. A morbid jangle tickles it and like a clatter of rifles the drums kick in. The singer, an androgynous mess of Jesus and Mary Chain/Spaceman 3 drone, drools and sways over the top, off his tits on the jingle and jangle of hopeless darkness. This is Crystal Stilts world, a mess of contrasting sounds, the happy jangle turned inwards, the bounce of the marching drum turned into a funeral song. Crystal Stilts, allowed to ferment and breathe, will grow in the pores of your skin and give you the gloomiest darkest night of your life. But in the macabre slight menace, there is a dark beauty at play. They warp rockabilly on ‘Crystal Stilts’, turn a dreary empty desert song in the loudest wail of solace. The indecipherable lyrics and the complete disregard for letting you into their world only increases the mystique of a band so angular and unrepentant in their misty darkness. Moogs and and synths amply fill out the high-ends of this bottom heavy sound. A moody body of work with the atmosphere of the scariest nights out, from a desolate empty city crawling with bodysnatchers, to a dark and dank country path where the unknown lurks silently in the shadows. Recorded in a fishbowl, ‘Shattered Shine’ is one of the stand-out tracks, with every jangle and wail turned to muffle in a warped wall of sound experiment, while ‘Spiral Transit’ is the evil flipside of the 60s summer of love, a riposte to peace love and understanding.

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