Album Review: Crystal Stilts - In Love With Oblivion (Fortuna Pop!)
Welding shimmering melodies to joyous nihilism, the Brooklyn noise-poppers’ second shines, darklyMore on Crystal Stilts
It’s not so much a departure as just, well, better. For every one of Brad Hargett’s nonchalantly droning vocals, there’s a melody that shimmers and sparkles with all the pop nous of any ’60s great; [a]Crystal Stilts[/a], like [a]The Cure[/a] or [a]The Jesus And Mary Chain[/a] before them, understand that the beauty is in the balance.
Lead single and highlight [b]‘Shake The Shackles’[/b] epitomises this with gorgeous ease. Its opening gambit may read like an excerpt from [a]Elliott Smith[/a]’s most tortured diary (“[i]When will we discover the place that we buried love/And resurrect all of the lovers?/We cried so long for one another[/i]”), but the fuzzy layers of infectious riffs, organs and tambourine shakes gloom clear with a hopeful, dappled-sunlight brilliance. [b]‘Through The Floor’[/b] stomps along like Bowie hitting the West Coast, while [b]‘Half A Moon’[/b] is all Hammond organs and acid-soaked exuberance, and [b]‘Death Is What We Live For’[/b] is part Iggy, part Lou, part Brian Jonestown and all genius.
[b]‘In Love With Oblivion’[/b] dips its toe in cross-continental waters from Warhol’s Factory to Manchester’s, but from start to finish [a]Crystal Stilts[/a] have produced something that’s defiantly, distinctively ruled only by itself. Take out the vocals on [b]‘Silver Sun’[/b] or [b]‘Invisible City’[/b] and the last 40 years might as well not have happened; add them back in, however, and you’ve got the kind of glorious contradiction that’s post-nothing.
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