Release Date: Oct 28, 2008
Record label: Slumberland
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Upon first hearing Alight Of Night you could be instantly forgiven for thinking it was 1986 all over again. But trust me, that really doesn't tell anywhere near half the story. Go through each of the eleven songs that make up Crystal Stilts' debut long player and it almost feels like being driven through a guided tour of rock'n'roll's most incisive, dare I say coolest, esprit de corps of the previous four decades.
Something that often separates U.S. indie-rock bands from their British counterparts is that the former can really play. U.S. bands often believe in practice, tightness and musicianship. A commitment to the craft of rock 'n' roll. With British bands, adeptness is often secondary to ideas, looks and ….
On Crystal Stilts' first full-length album, Alight of Night, the bandmembers aren't afraid to rely heavily on their obvious influences. On display for all to hear are the reverbed darkness of the early Jesus and Mary Chain, the twee punk energy of the Shop Assistants, the classic autumnal songcraft of Black Tambourine, and the raw and ragged production values of a hundred bands from the Seeds to Green on Red to Boyracer. Throw in some Velvet Underground, some C86, and some Love, and stir vigorously.
To strip is to remove everything that can be removed, until what’s left is irreducible. A person generally strips to be analyzed. This is often an indignity. Rock songs can be stripped, too. One accomplishes as much by isolating their sacred center, chords and lyrics (the Music Itself), without ….
The Velvet Underground’s first album ranks among the most plagiarized of all time: Its strident melodies, dark subject matter and cloaks of reverb have crept into songs by Patti Smith, Television and Sonic Youth. The fact that those three called New York home is also no coincidence since Gotham continues to inspire crisp, anxious, lo-fi rock ensembles, each unabashedly paying homage to the Velvets. Brooklyn’s Vivian Girls are most conspicuously the product of their claimed influences: the Wipers, Nirvana and the Shangri-Las.