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Crystal Stilts – In Love With Oblivion

May 26, 2011 by  

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Crystal Stilts – In Love With Oblivion

NAME: Crystal Stilts
ALBUM: In Love With Oblivion
DATE: 12April2011

LABEL: Fortuna Pop


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Shake your shackles, embrace brilliance


LINE UP: Brad Hargett – vocals; JB Townsend – guitar; Kyle Forester – keyboards; Andy Adler – bass guitar; Keegan Cooke – drums


One day the Crystal Stilts looked into the dark unfathomable heart of the universe and instead of gut-wrenching terror, found love. They express their affection through the genuinely odd medium of Noise Pop and will do so loudly this year with the release of their new album In Love with Oblivion.

SOUNDS LIKE: At first glance, it’s hard to analyse exactly why Crystal Stilts are so brilliant. A synthesis of melodic pop and psychadelic rock and garnished with a delightful sprinkling of noise style, they’re wonderfully jarring and seem to take great delight in just messing about with the concept of genre.

Example: The intro to album opener Sycamore Tree is essentially the lead up theme to the big monster reveal in a 50s B-movie. Picture a hot tense night in the laboratory, the bespectacled man of science hunched over his microscope, hair brylcreamed to within an inch of its life, his attractive research assistant keeping a respectful distance:

“Astonishing. These isotopes appear to be utterly unlike anything hereto known to man.”

“But professor that’s impossible! That would mean…”

…“It would mean Shirley… that they came from Outer Space.”

Cue Monster:

This gradually gives way to a twanging guitar sequence with a whiff of ‘Duelling Banjos’ about it before morphing into some ‘good old boy’ style laid back rock that sounds like a ho-down by a barn side carnival. Nuts.

The assault continues with the likes of Shake the Shackles, a psychedelic sidestep which is poppy and zappy enough that you can actually get down to it, but at the same time sophisticated enough to avoid becoming cheesy or bubblegum. You will be dared not to clap your hands and you will fail miserably. While Alien Rivers slows things down to a crawl. Heavy use of night-time ambience giving the feel of listening to a cowboy playing guitar in the desert, with the vocals following this hypnotic slur that makes it seem like you’re being castigated to hell in by a one very monotonous fire and brimstone preacher.

Potential converts should be aware that it has been scientifically confirmed that listening to Flying into the Sun will absolutely wreck you. As soon as Brad Hargett croons out “It’s a black hole”, slow as molasses, you will feel a deep tug around the heart and shiver through the bones. Embrace this. Do not be afraid. Reverbed lyrics are coming back in these days and this is fine example of them done right – slow and measured, but pulling the rest of the section forward in their wake. As for the track’s tone… Is it depressing? Melancholic? Uplifting? Perhaps all three, but it certainly is damn affecting.

Entrancing, bewildering, fantastic, vaguely frightening, In Love With Oblivion is a bit like having a Tiger Moth swoop through your kitchen window and make off with your freshly milked bowl of Shreddies. What you’ve just experienced is so alien you’re not quite sure how to process it other than a stunned conviction that that was awesome.

So definitely one that rewards repeat listening.

Not Again.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: Heavy distortion and tectonic-plate speed rhythm isn’t going to send you running for the earmuffs / You are a winsome and well-balanced individual with impeccable taste.


Submitted By Andrew Gregory



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