Crystal Stilts have always been attention grabbers, but despite this their previous two albums have lacked in something truly defining. Anticipating the New Yorkers new record ‘Nature Noir’ there was a slight worry that they’ll drop into a trap of mediocrity, a three albums and a half-hearted buzz kinda thing.
Second track ‘Star Crawl’ slaps that worry in the face and says “We’re quite happy to bumble along with our colourful guitar effects and drum fills – because we’ve mastered how to do it”. Point taken, the track boasts an air of self-assurance and effortless style. Even better the album continues in this style, showing Crystal Stilts are more than comfortable to flirt with any style they take a shine to – be it the lingering Bauhaus vocals or the withdrawn spacey psychedelia of ‘Darken The Door’.
‘Memory Room’ evokes some intimacy, with a moving orchestral section working its magic as Brad Hargett lullingly suggests that you “forget about the after-life and multiply the life-time”. This slight drop in tempo emphasises the glamour of other songs like ‘Electrons Rising’ and helps every last bit of pungent reverb merrily work it’s way into the brain.
‘Nature Noir’ perfectly showcases a band who have hit their stride. It’s a concise and clear-cut effort which bares a real sense of direction, I definitely won’t piss away the chance to see Crystal Stilts on their upcoming UK tour this November – and neither should you.
Buy: Nature Noir
Live: Cargo – November 28th