Dusted Reviews

Crystal Stilts - Crystal Stilts

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Crystal Stilts

Album: Crystal Stilts

Label: Woodsist

Review date: Aug. 19, 2008

Lo-fi, sluggish, and with little in the way of musicality, Crystal Stilts play learner’s curve Anglo-pop with maximum apathy. People seem to like them - maybe it’s because the songs are so indistinct and unthreatening; perhaps it’s because everyone was dying to know what Peter Murphy would sound like singing underwater with cottonballs in his mouth. Crystal Stilts’ chief melodist is also clearly into Ian Curtis, who in death has become the Jim Morrison of the anemic indie set.

The guitars are out-of-tune, the keyboards plinky and there’s so much reverb on the vocals they sound like they were recorded in a rec room down the street. That’s perfectly well and fine, but the question that Crystal Stilts never manage to answer is why the fuck anyone should care. Their self-titled debut EP might make tolerable background music while you’re doing your taxes, but at some point you’ll accidentally pay attention. And at that moment, you’ll realize that everything sounds amateur and soporific, and not in a remotely interesting way.

Look, I get it: Brooklyn band filches Manchester gloom and shoegaze lethargy, plays a few shows and makes bloggers cream. Not a novel tale, by any means. But when did it become appropriate to reward a band’s obvious lack of interest in its own music? It’s not like the people who could actually benefit from Crystal Stilts - those downcast high schoolers with entry-level recording equipment - will ever even hear them. Nope, this reductive and unoriginal (did I mention dull? it’s dull!) music is custom-made for indie blog clearinghouses and other online echo chambers where groupthink and attention deficit trump context and taste. Because, despite their sudden ascendancy, no one really says anything about Crystal Stilts - they’re mutely approved and plunked into the mp3 aggregator, just the latest band to painfully illustrate that there’s something wrong with the filter.

By Casey Rae-Hunter

Other Reviews of Crystal Stilts

Alight of Night

In Love With Oblivion

Read More

View all articles by Casey Rae-Hunter

Find out more about Woodsist

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.