Brooklyn quartet Crystal Stilts, received much acclaim with the release of Alight of Night back in ’09. While their debut sounded a little rough and slightly unfinished we were unknowingly witnessing the blossoming of what became a lo-fi garage rock revival.
This time they have a much better grasp on what works for them and along with considerably brushed up production values, In Love With Oblivion sees them develop and grow beyond obvious comfort zones.
‘Sycamore Trees’, ‘Through The Floor’ and ‘Alien Rivers’ capture this expansion beyond the band’s usual musical MO and embracing their murky side. While ‘Silver Sun’, ‘Half Moon’ and ‘Flying Into The Sun’ are the most closely related to the jangly instrumentals of their debut. ‘Invisible City’, ‘Blood Barons’ and ‘Prometheus At Large’ capture an urgent psychedelic style of indie/post-punk perpetrated so perfectly by Echo & The Bunnymen in their early days.
What binds it together is the overwhelming dream like and nocturnal atmosphere, developed in no small way through singer Brad Hargett’s signature warbling vocals, transporting the listener to a ghoulish ether.
They are not mucking about with the formula but they, like In Love With Oblivion stand tall against the bulk of fellow imitators. The beauty is in the balance between their influences, penchant for ’60s psychedelics and ’80s post-punk and talent. Crystal Stilts have a promising future.