Song of the day – 328: Crystal Stilts
Before I listened to their new album In Love With Oblivion, I was at a loss to understand why anybody would want to listen to Crystal Stilts.
(You’ll notice the crucial use of the word ‘before’ in the previous sentence.)
“Why would anyone want to listen to a bunch a spoiled Yank record collectors aiming to slavishly recreate the sounds of a foreign culture (British) from another time (the Eighties)?” I thought to myself cynically. “Jesus And Mary Chain weren’t even that good first time round.”
Um. OK. Fucking idiot.
This album is wonderful. I fell in love with it just around the moment the opening lines of ‘Through The Floor’ rang out: the singer sounding just like Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) singing that ace power-pop song ‘Silly Thing’ in The Great Rock’N’Roll Swindle, later slipping into Bauhaus territory only with a solid beating warm red pop heart (not Bauhaus at all then). The music is all wonderful giant slabs of depression and reverb-heavy bass: an organ sounding suspiciously like it thinks The Doors aren’t a bad thing, the melodic structure of the vocals somehow recalling The Smiths … sure, this is C86 but it sure as fuck is a C86 band I’ve never encountered before, and it don’t feel revivalist or jaded or tired or stunted but wonderfully, beautifully ALIVE. I’d imagine, yes, this band have probably mainlined a Velvet Underground album or three at some point in their lives: and yes, they love POP music, however we’re defining that beast today, but their love is my love and my love is their love, and as I said semi-reluctantly at the end of an interview yesterday for a forthcoming video documentary about Sarah Records:
“You have to understand, these are my people. And it’s just nice folk are still talking about them.”
This is killer WAVE pop: both me and Charlotte immediately agreed upon that – and that counts for something, for sure.
Crystal Stilts are actually way more similar to Shop Assistants than the Mary Chain, a moot point perhaps but crucial to me.
Ha! And I had no idea it was the single.