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Alight of night

Ghostly pop transmissions from buzzy Brooklynites

Rating: 8 / 10

Ed Power, 03 Mar 2009

Though their ethereal surf-pop resists obvious categorization, Crystal Stilts have been tagged as members of a micro-scene: bands with “Crystal” in their name. In fact, it’s hard to imagine an outfit further removed from the casio-bleep core of Crystal Castles or Crystal Antlers’ hairy avant-noize. On their debut long-player dissonant, disembodied music-scapes bob on a swell of barely-there guitars while frontman Brad Hargett murmurs spookily in the background, as though delivering his vocals via seance. All too predictably, this Brooklyn foursome are being lumped in with the borough’s deluge of psychedelic carpetbaggers. In fact, their influences are both more far-flung and more local: ‘The Sinking’s hazy garage riffs are unabashedly in hock to ‘Dunedin sound’ acts such as The Bats, The Chills, and especially, The Clean. Meanwhile, on ‘Graveyard Orbit’ and ‘The Dazzled’, Hargett’s morphine-dream croon harks towards overlooked ‘80s New Jerseyites the Feelies. If you like your indie rock untethered, heroically moochy and, within a hair’s breath of sinking into maudlin funk, by all means take that as a recommendation.

Key Track: 'The Sinking'

Rating: 8 / 10
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