ARC044: Crystal Stilts - Alight Of Night

Alight Of Night

Artist: Crystal Stilts

Release Date: 16th February 2009

Release Type: Album

Formats: CD, 12", download

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Following on from their great EP on Woodsist and a summer of packed shows and increasing anticipation, we are very proud to bring you 'Alight of Night', an album that more than delivers on the promise of their early singles. So what's it like, you ask? There is a definite flavor of Velvet Underground to be had, but Crystal Stilts' spectral avant-garage also takes in such far-flung references as: the spooked 60s Texas psych of 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola, the gothic blues/punk howl of Gun Club, the dark, experimental DIYism of early Flying Nun/Xpressway groups Pin Group and Plagal Grind, and a post-punk minimalism that brings to mind early Rough Trade and Factory releases. There is definitely a strong pop element as well, with the buzzsaw bubblegum of early Mary Chain b-sides and Meat Whiplash coming to mind.

These are all just rough points of reference, though - Alight of Night is far more than just the sum of the bands influences. From the twang 'n' echo of 'Crystal Stilts' to the primal pop stomp of 'Prismatic Room' and the lovely jangle of 'Shattered Shine', the band always adds something extra and unique to the mix, whether it's a fleeting dash of harmonica, a hypnotic organ line or just an amazing guitar sound. There is a unity of purpose at work here, a special mood conjured by the sounds, production and sequence of songs that lifts this album into the realm of the classics, and reveals new twists and turns on each listen.

Like all great albums, every piece just sits in exactly the right place, each song builds on the last and by the end you couldn't imagine changing anything about it at all. Eerily familiar but totally now, 'Alight of Night' is a brilliantly haunting slice of rock primitivism.

1. The Dazzled
2. Crystal Stilts
3. Graveyard Orbit
4. Prismatic Room
5. The SinKing
6. Departure
7. Shattered Shine
8. Verdant Gaze
9. Bright Night
10. Spiral Transit
11. The City In The Sea